NEWPORT, VT - North Country High School’s Dance and Theatre Company class performed "The Tempestuous and Fractious Shakespeare Project" by Edith Weiss, under the artistic direction of teacher Cheri Skurdall.
The after school Drama Club, which cast students by competitive audition, performed “Just Girls Talking,” a piece written by teacher Robert Wing, and directed and taught by Skurdall.
Drama students preformed each piece in front of teachers and peers at dress rehearsals Wednesday and received helpful feedback. Wednesday evening, both groups preformed for the public.
The one act comedy "The Tempestuous and Fractious Shakespeare Project" is about a group of students who decide to do a production of their favorite scenes from Shakespeare and launch into a game show with the characters.
The audience watches the characters attempt their rehearsals, but are quickly drawn into all the adolescent drama between the actors that any teen can relate to, laugh about, and learn lessons from. The actors skillfully delivered their lines and drew the audience in.
Romeo and Juliet was played by seniors Erin Spoerl and Colton White. The two actors struggled with their "relationship" on stage and nailed the projection of intense emotion earning audience support.
Spoerl is an advanced NCUHS actor. She began acting at the age of five and is also a regular with Vermont Family Theater. Colton, also an advanced actor, began acting in junior high when a traveling drama company from Boston came up to his school, and he has enjoyed drama ever since.
Robert Wing has spent the past two years writing a new play that premiered Wednesday evening at North Country Union High School. "Just Girls Talking “ was inspired by real events although the actions of the superintendent, principal and school board are fictional, " states Wing.
The one act play focuses on five young women – four students and a teacher – who examine justice from the point of view of a high school student.
“High school students are concerned about justice,” notes Wing. “We examine the eternal question of why doesn't the good guy win.”
Student Kendra Perkins plays the role of Amanda, the privileged daughter of an influential father who changes the grading policy so his daughter can be the senior class' valedictorian, which in turn means another student would be bumped to second place.
“We explore the difference between legal and ethical behavior,” said Wing. “While the students are not aware of the grading policy change, several of them with a plan to help a favored teacher start to argue about ethics. They ask, "If a person can exact justice for a wrongful act, will they take it?'"
The actresses in the play along with Perkins are Shannon Smith as Shirelle, Jade Cota as Molly, Jessie Sackett as Tiffany, Erin Spoerl as Brandy, and Shania Russin as teacher Miss Crane.
"The Tempestuous and Fractious Shakespeare Project" by Edith Weiss opened the evening. Both shows were directed by award winning teacher Cheri Skurdall.