Amph-Rats to present ‘Man Who Came to Dinner’

The Plymouth High School Drama Department will present “The Man Who Came to Dinner” April 14-17. Among those performing in the classic comedy are (top) Mary Riley, (bottom, left to right) Brandon Herrin and Kelly Pocian. — Photo by Janet DeJean Newton The Plymouth High School Drama Department will present “The Man Who Came to Dinner” April 14-17. Among those performing in the classic comedy are (top) Mary Riley, (bottom, left to right) Brandon Herrin and Kelly Pocian. — Photo by Janet DeJean Newton Plymouth High School drama students will present the hilarious classic comedy “The Man Who Came to Dinner” for the public.

The double-cast play will be performed by the Amph-Rats Acting Company, which consists of juniors and seniors enrolled in the Advanced Acting Class, or Drama II/III. The company got its name because students perform in the PHS Amphitheatre.

During the semester-long class, students prepare two performances: in April a play that has been previously scripted and published, and in May an original script created by the students.

For the April play, drama teacher Janet DeJean Newton looks for a script that matches the dedication and talent of the students in that class, while exposing them to classic literature or theater.

“When I looked at the class list and I began digging through scripts, this play floated to the top of the pile, and I was so excited to read it again and imagine all of our students playing the many parts,” she said. “It’s absolutely perfect for this year’s extremely talented roster of students.”

“The Man Who Came to Dinner,” written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, is about a New York radio host who slips and breaks his hip on the doorstep of an Ohio family after dining with them. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow, as he insults everyone around him and receives a string of strange friends.

“Even though the play is set in 1939, the script is so well written that its humor is lively and relevant to today’s audiences,” Newton said. “I was first introduced to this play when my high school produced it during my junior year in 1978. That was also the year I fell in love with theatre. I was so intrigued with all of the hilarious characters, the flawless storyline, and all of the crazy props, which was my job at the time.”

As props for the PHS production, students have had to create an Egyptian sarcophagus, a “Roach City” and a crate of penguins, she said.

All of the technical aspects of the show are being tackled by the students: prop design, set design, costume selection, lighting, sound, and a little choreography.

“They collaboratively tackle these requirements, trouble-shoot, and work together to find the best possible solutions and options,” Newton said. “Because all of the students in the Advanced Acting class have a wealth of experience to pull from, they are adept at foreseeing and addressing the challenges of performing in and producing a full-length play with only 35 minutes a day of class time to rehearse.”

The class began rehearsing the first week of February, and uses class time to work in small groups on individual scenes while Newton divides her time between them. Students also take the initiative to schedule practice sessions with each other outside of class on their own.

“What other class do you know of that is filled with students who are willing to put in another 20- plus hours of class time the two weeks (and more) before the performance?” she asked.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14; Friday, April 15; and Saturday, April 16; with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in the Amphitheatre at the school, 125 Highland Ave., Plymouth. General admission is $3; tickets will be available at the door.

For more information, call the high school office at (920) 893- 6911.

Cast List

Please note: If two names are listed, first is Thursday/Saturday cast; second is Friday/Sunday cast

Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley: Jenna Musiedlak; Megan Carbaugh

Miss Preen: Mary Riley

Richard Stanley: Nicholas Pohl; Connor McManus

June Stanley: Delaney Scudella; Kate VonDerVellen

John: Jacob Willeford; Josh Hafemann

Sarah: Julia Krueger; Abigale Nicholson

Mrs. Dexter: Megan Carbaugh; Jenna Musiedlak

Mrs. McCutcheon: Abby Nicholson; Stephanie Zimmerman

Mr. Stanley: Nathaniel Benicke; Tannor Gonzalez

Maggie Cutler: Kelly Pocian

Dr. Bradley: Teddy Laumann

Sheridan Whiteside: Brandon Herrin

Harriet Stanley: Kate Harms

Bert Jefferson: Alex Gravatt; Adam LaVine

Professor Metz: Eric Graumann

Lorraine Sheldon: Elisabeth Balistreri; Cristina Marcu

Sandy: Davon Mayer; Skyler Simenz

Beverly Carlton: Justin Schmitz

Westcott: Josh Hafemann; Jacob Willeford

Banjo: Adam LaVine; Alex Gravatt

Deputy: James Myers

Lights and sound: Jordan Hefter and Alan Schaefer

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