GREENSBURG — When the cast of South Decatur High School’s (SDHS) “Just Another High School Play” takes the stage Thursday night, it will be a performance like none other.
This, according to SDHS senior Caleb Newlin, who told the Daily News, “Nobody’s ever seen a play like this; it’s different every time because of the ad-lib elements.”
Amanda Gault, the play’s director and SDHS Drama department coordinator, agreed. “High School,” she explained, contains several segments wherein the young thespians are required to play it from the cuff.
The play tells the story of a high school drama teacher and a cast of student actors who won’t learn their lines or come to practice for the upcoming school play. The teacher becomes so exacerbated, she washes her hands of the production, dropping out and abandoning her young actors. The cast is thus left to put together their own last-minute play.
“It’s a play within a play,” Gault said. “Really, it’s multiple plays within a play. There are lots of references to other plays and [other] musicals.”
The production contains sequences related to Elizabethan-era dramatists Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, along with segments pertaining to “Little Men” and “Our Town.” There’s even a rap version of “A Christmas Carol” and a “Romeo and Juliet” puppet show.
Gault and her cast chose this particular play for a couple reasons. For one, the story requires few set pieces and not much in the way of costumes. Additionally, the entire production is much less demanding and thus, much less stressful compared to the school’s fall production of “Sweeney Todd.”
“There’s a lot of availability for improv, in this play,” Gault said. “‘Sweeny Todd’ was just so dark and demanding, and we wanted to choose something lighter for spring. This play is very comedic. It’s very funny and it allows the kids to really show their personalities; I thought that would be especially important for the seniors.”