It’s said that 97 percent of people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy at a funeral. If that’s true, the Payson High School (PHS) thespians deserve kudos for getting up on stage this weekend to compete at the state regional festival this weekend.
To practice, the students will perform the play for Rim Country residents at 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28 in the PHS Auditorium.
The PHS students will perform “Cheating Death,” by Kamron Klitgaard, a play that reveals Death has humanistic characteristics. The plot tells the story of mental hospital residents who seek to confuse Death when he comes to take Sam Johnson, one of their own. No one will direct Death to his next mark and so he resorts to ruthless tactics that illuminate a different side of him.
Seven actors and two crew members will head down to Sabino High School in Tucson on Saturday, March 1 to compete against other schools and their one-act plays.
The judges will look for how the actors use voice, characterization, movement, timing, motivation, costumes/props, lighting/ sound, set design, ensemble and play concept to tell the story.
A total of 50 points are possible, but anything from 42 to 50 is a superior rating, said PHS Drama Program Director Kathy Siler.
Senior Lyndsay Popke will direct the play. She was picked as the result of a selection process that started in August.
“Three-year and four-year drama students who are seniors are allowed to apply to stage direct their own play (actors) or tech direct their own play (techs),” said Siler. “They apply in August with an essay and an interview. The program directors, (Siler and Thomas Walling), discuss the talent, vision, motivation, dedication and problem-solving skills of each student and decide who will direct for the state conference in November, the regional festival in February and the senior-directed one-act plays in May.”