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FHS theatre class hitting the road

Students in Farragut High Schools Advanced Theater Class will take their talent on the road this December when they take their own versions of five of Aesop’s Fables to Farragut Middle School to perform for FMS as well as at Farragut Intermediate School.

FHS theater teacher Lea McMahan said this is the first time the students have not performed in one of FHS’ own auditoriums.

“We are running into all kinds of problems, but they can handle it. One good thing is, they have to be flexible and able to adapt to other environments, so I think this will be a very good learning experience for them,” she said.

The fables, “Henny Penny,” “The Master Thief,” “The Young Man and the Fickle Woman,” “The Crows” and “The Golden Goose,” will be student directed.

Junior Sherridan Smee said, “Mrs. Mac came up with the idea and she asked if any of us were interested, and a few of us said we would like to do it, so we just took it and made it our own.

Sherridan is not only directing “The Young Man and the Fickle Woman,” she wrote her own version.

“It is about a young man who is in love with a woman who does not like him at all. She is very shallow and she runs away for chocolate and money and shiny things. It is kind of sad, but it is also funny,” she said.

The fables will be presented one after the other and will feature many of the same students in all five shows.

Sophomore Dallas Marable will act in four of the five fables.

“In ‘Master Thief’ I am the Master Thief. In ‘The Old Man and the Fickle Woman’ I play the French man. In ‘The Golden Goose’ I play the second son and in ‘Henny Penny’ I am Goosey Poosey,” he said.

“It is very hectic because I have to change out of one costume or just throw it over. In each play I start off on opposite sides of the play, so I run across as fast as I can and get changed and it is all very hectic,” he added.

Sophomore Conner Hess also stars in four of the five shows.

“In ‘Henny Penny’ I play Turkey Lurkey. In ‘Master Thief’ I am the old man. Then in ‘The Young Man and the Fickle Woman,’ I play the young man. And in ‘The Golden Goose’ I play the youngest brother, Simpleton, who gets picked on by the two older brothers and is hated by his mother,” Hess said.

Conner said the challenge is in becoming so many characters in such a short time.

“In’ Henny Penny,’ I am playing a farm animal, so it’s pretty much all about the costumes they put you in, the accent you use and your gestures and postures. Because, like a turkey, its head kind of jerks and moves when it tries to look around, so that is something I have to do on stage. Then I go straight from being a turkey to being the old man. I have to change into an old man costume with a cane and I hunch my shoulders and I have this really high-pitched shaky voice. Then in ‘The Young Man and the Fickle Woman’ I am begging for her love, so I am really, really vulnerable,” he said.

Senior Daniel Noles is directing “Master Thief” as well as acting in “Henny Penny” and “The Golden Goose.”

Daniel said playing Duckey Daddles in “Henny Penny” is fun.

“The costumes do not have to be really big, it just depends on how you play that character. It is just fun to play a farm animal because you rarely get to play an animal. You can make these characters really big or really small. These shows focus really on the acting and not on the sets,” he said.

As a director, Daniel said he, Sherridan and fellow student director Paul Gary were responsible for all aspects of directing their shows.

“The directors had to cast everybody in our shows. I picked the toughest one to cast and direct. It is quite a challenge, but it is also a learning process. You have to think about the lights and the sound and props and costumes and blocking. It is a learning experience, but I really like it,” he said.

The students will hold a public performance beginning at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7, in FHS Ferguson Auditorium before taking the show to FMS later in the week. Tickets will be available at the door.


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