On Stage: Romance And Intrigue At Phs

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If you like stirring tales of romance, intrigue and bold action punctuated by plenty of swordplay, the Payson High School Drama Department's production of "Scaramouche" is a must-see.

PHS drama assistant John Siler sets the scene for the play, which opens Thursday, March 2 and runs through March 4 in the school auditorium: "Blend the antics of a Comedie del Arte acting troupe with the fiery politics of the day," Siler said. "Add to the mix a bold scoundrel who seeks revenge for the legalized murder of his young, innocent, soft-spoken friend. Mix well with seduction and betrayal and you have the captivating play, ‘Scaramouche.'"

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Jonathan Gartner and Jessie Carpino rehearse a scene from the Payson High School Drama Department production of "Scaramouche."

The story is adapted from the historical novel by Rafael Sabatini. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, "Scaramouche" is a character study, a social examination and a love story.

Payson Center for Success senior Travis Walton plays Andre Louis Moreau, who is forced to become an outlaw with a price on his head. He joins a troupe of traveling actors and takes on the identity of the bold, dashing Scaramouche, a character not unlike the actor who plays him.

"It is a part just made for (Walton)," Siler said. "He has a feeling for this character. He has the look for this character.

"He looks the part of a scoundrel."

Scaramouche has a personal code of honor that's quite unique, Siler said. "He stands up for what he believes in, for people that he cares for, and this gets him into all kinds of trouble."

The play comes to its climax as the people revolt and the nobility flee.

Walton's character must be willing to make a sacrifice to save his godfather and the girl he loves -- played by PHS senior Shannon Horton.

Also playing prominent roles are PHS junior Jessie Carpino and seniors Jamie Rusovick, Calvin Legassie, Carina Peters and Chris Bott.

"The story was made into a marvelous movie of the same name starring Stewart Granger, Mel Ferrer and Janet Leigh," Siler said. "In some ways it's a comedy. In some ways it's a drama."

Thursday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. with a 4 p.m. matinee on Friday. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, $2 for Pride cardholders and free for Thespians.

"If you don't see another play this season, this one is a must," Siler said.

If you go:

PHS Drama Department presents "Scaramouche"

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Friday

Where: Payson High School Auditorium

Cost: $4 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, $2 for Pride cardholders and free for Thespians.

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