The Great Bend High School Theatre Department will present a comical play, “The Election” by Don Zolidas, from Nov. 11-13 at the GBHS Auditorium.
“I chose this one because of its obvious timeliness and because I am big fan of the author, Don Zolidas,” said Dan Heath, drama club sponsor. “This is the third Zolidas play we have produced at GBHS.”
Others include last year’s Hamlet spoof “Dr. Pepper Presents Disney’s Hamlet”, and the 2010 spring show, “The Brothers’ Grimm Spectaculathon”.
The play is a critical look at the media and the billions of dollars spent by special interests and PACs to influence the outcomes of the election,
Expect to see some new faces on stage this production. Plenty of fresh talent has stepped forward to replace the 13 senior thespians that graduated in the spring, Heath said. Senior Nathan Brungardt grabs the spotlight for the first time as one of the lead characters, Mark Davenport, who decides to run for student body president. Senior Summer Bates also makes her stage debut as Sasha, an actress who is being paid to make Davenport appear to have a beautiful girlfriend.
A GBHS Theatre regular, Hannah Mosier, is Davenport’s opponent. She plays the part of Christy Martin, a nerd who wants to cut football, so Davenport is sure he’s a shoe in. That is, until Martin receives financial support from a superPAC. Seniors Marcus Allen, David Webster, and Joy Conner are back again. “The fact that these kids have worked together over several years in multiple shows has developed a unique sense of timing, especially when it comes to comedy,” Heath said.
What would a campaign be without campaign commercials? Thanks to the efforts of seniors Chase Pumford and Gabe Joiner, the audience will get a laugh out of some of the ads that play during the show.
“The pair enlisted the help of 2011 GBHS graduate Aaron Mull, whose talent for videography and editing has made him something of a local celebrity thanks to his Youtube channel,” Heath said. “This team has produced truly hilarious video parodies of campaign TV ads that are a great way to top off the exhausting campaign season.”
Last year, the crew lost “tech-legend” Luke Abbott when he graduated from GBHS and began college at FSHU. This gave senior Courtney Campbell a challenge as she returned to the role of Stage Manager.
“Courtney has blossomed into a great theatre technician,” Heath said. “Despite losing our go-to guy, the younger kids have really stepped up and we are developing their skills at the behind-the-scenes side of the theater.
A 2 p.m. matinee will open the show Sunday, followed by two 7 p.m. shows on Monday and Tuesday nights. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased from Dan Heath, room at GBHS Friday. All the money earned from ticket sales is used to produce the next show, Heath said. “Our budget for each play is determined by how well we do at the door in the previous play,” he said. “It gives us motivation to work hard to sell tickets and keep a tight budget.” It’s also good training for kids that may eventually work in professional theatre where box office is everything, he added.