'Phantom' Steals Actress From High School Stage


An unknown person is causing havoc in the TV studio that is home to the hit soap opera "As the Heart Burns."

When the leading actress is kidnapped by the phantom, it's anybody's guess who's behind the mask in "The Phantom of the Soap Opera," the first theatrical production of the year by the Payson High School Drama Club. Wednesday is opening night at the PHS auditorium, with a matinee performance Thursday, and a final performance Saturday evening.

Written by Craig Sodaro and based "ever-so-loosely" on Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash hit, the play's actress-abductor ends up professing his undying love to his prisoner. Meanwhile back at the studio, the soap's director is going crazy without his female lead.

PHS sophomore Billy Chester plays the Phantom, while sophomore Lindsay Ashbrooke is the soap's leading actress, and junior Andrew Steedman is the harried director. Thespian Society President Ryan Hilgendorf, a senior, is the production's stage manager.

While nobody is revealing who the phantom turns out to be, the play comes to a rousing conclusion as the soap opera cast stages a fake episode complete with masquerade ball to try and unmask the culprit.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for the Wednesday and Saturday evening performances and 2 p.m. for the Thursday matinee. Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors, and $1 for Renaissance cardholders.

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