Thespians Act Out Life Situations

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The Payson High School Drama Department will present four one-act "issue plays" this week.

"They are what we call issue plays, because they all deal with issues of some kind, but some of them are also comedies," John Siler, director of two of the plays, said. Kathy Siler also directs two of the plays.

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Jamie Rusovic and Shannon Horton are among the detainees in "Holding Tank," the tale of a single mom who lands in the slammer for trying to shoplift a rattle for her baby.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, 9 and 11, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Friday, Dec. 10. Tickets are available at the door of the Studio Theatre, located behind the PHS auditorium.

The plays include:

Secrets

"Secrets" is about the difficult issues that teenagers face today.

"It's about their secret haunts, the things that disturb young people, the things that they're afraid to tell, either because they're sociologically wrong, or because their peers would not accept it," Siler said. "It deals with everything from drinking to drugs to pregnancy to slipping out at night."

Hunter Hunt

A brother and sister out hunting get lost in the forest and take refuge in a cabin, where they are joined by two oddball characters -- a flower child and an English lord. While the lord is smitten with the sister, the brother and flower child clash over the issue of hunting.

"Moonbeam gets into it with the hunter because she's a conservationist," Siler said. "The play deals with ecology issues, but it's done tongue-in-cheek. It shows how silly people can be when they get stuck on their issues."

Sisters

Set aboard a cruise ship, "Sisters" is about an aggressive, pushy woman who gets on everybody's nerves and her quiet sister who puts up with her.

"She annoys all the other passengers to the point that they get together and say we're going to do something about her, and it involves knitting needles," Siler said. "It's kind of a dark comedy, but a funny comedy. It's about what happens to big-mouth people who are bullies."

Holding Tank

A police holding cell is the setting for "Holding Tank," as a first-time offender is placed with a group of women who are hardened repeat offenders.

"She's a single mom who was arrested for shoplifting a rattle for her baby," Siler said.

The characters are based on real women playwright Vern Hardin worked with at the state prison in Florence.

"Holding Tank" was chosen for the International Thespian Society's state competition this year.

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