Phs Drama Presents Puns And Laughter


The Payson High School drama department will present a few different plays performed many different ways in the Studio Theater starting tomorrow and running through the weekend.

"It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's ... Nerdman" by Craig Sodaro; the Russian classic, "The Bear," by Anton Chekhov and various individual performances will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 15 and 17 and at 4 p.m. Dec. 16. Adult admission is $4, Students and seniors $3, Pride cardholders are $2 and Thespian cardholders are free.


Darla (Amanda Thompson) hugs Clark Brent (Danny Neff) during rehearsals for "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's ... Nerdman."

"Nerdman" is a spoof on Superman that takes place in a newsroom. Instead of a dorky Clark Kent becoming the powerful Superman, we have the handsome and strong Clark Brent who becomes a nerdy crusader superhero, according to junior Danny Neff who plays Brent.

"Because this show is a comedy, there is a lot of opportunity for adding extra funny things to get a laugh from the audience," Neff said.

Before every entrance there is hustle and bustle going around backstage to simulate a newsroom, so the audience will hear funny anecdotes," said senior Carina Peters who plays Lois Drain.

Ad libbing can happen "when someone misses an entrance so the person on stage will have to make up a new scene or create new dialog with someone else on stage, and it's really challenging, but the actors have a lot of freedom," Neff said.

Junior Amanda Thompson, who plays Darla, said the students have been working on "Nerdman" since it was canceled last year.

The plot of "The Bear" pits a rather coarse and wealthy landowner against an equally wealthy, yet delicate, widow. Luka (Travis Walton) is serving his master, Lady Popova (Shannon Horton), when all of a sudden Smirnoff (Chris Bott) barges in causing a huge battle of the sexes.

"Hakuna Matata" features Kaitlyn Phylow, Jen Sandoval and Heidi Haworth.

"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" will be performed in sign by Heather Horsley.

Mykala Calello and Shay Larby will perform monologues: "When It Was Over" and "The Great War," respectively.

Plays do not happen without the skills of backstage technicians like second-year drama student and first-year advanced tech Steven Vandermeer.

The sophomore is a lighting technician and he said this year he is enjoying the hands-on experience of lighting more than the note taking last year.

Lighting technicians work from cues.

"Sometimes it is a sight cure or something happens and you have to follow (the actors) to get your cues right," Vandermeer said from his perch atop a ladder in the Studio Theater.

"Am I having a good time doing it? Yes, I am," he said.

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