A drama double-take

Cam+High%27s+drama+department+puts+on+the+production+of+their+take+on+The+Monkey%27s+Paw%2C+featuring+Nick+Castro+%28right%29%2C+Nathan+Oswald+%28middle%29+and+Brandon+Sawyer+%28left%29.

Photo by: Rhiannan Ruef

Cam High's drama department puts on the production of their take on The Monkey's Paw, featuring Nick Castro (right), Nathan Oswald (middle) and Brandon Sawyer (left).

While I have seen many school plays, this was my first time seeing one at Cam High. So, I went into this production not knowing what to expect. I feared that something would go wrong or that the audience wouldn’t laugh at the jokes, but I also felt excited to see all my friends and classmates showing off their acting chops. Mere minutes into the play, I knew at once that I could put all my fears to rest.

It is impossible for me to highlight one actor, scene, or even play in this double-feature production. The whole thing was absolutely brilliant the whole way through. Any mistakes or technical difficulties that the production had were imperceptible to the audience, due to actors’ clever ad-libbing.

The first play, The Monkey’s Paw, directed by Mr. Richard Winterstein, drama instructor is based on a short story of the same name by W. W. Jacobs, and attested to the fact that one does not need an enormous cast or lavish set pieces to make a production great.

The entire play takes place in one house (specifically in Fullham, England in 1905, according to the program) and has a cast of only five people. Yet, the story gripped the audience the whole way through, from the first spoken lines to the spine-chilling conclusion.

As I said before, it is impossible to highlight one actor in the plays, especially with a five person cast. But if necessary, I would draw attention to the two leads of the play, Nathan Oswald, senior (John White) and McKenzie Giles, senior (Jenny White). Oswald pulls off a convincing performance as the patriarch of the family, and Giles’s chilling screams at the end must have set every audience member’s spine tingling.

Our reviewer has a positive take on Drama’s Double TIp.
Our reviewer has a positive take on Drama’s Double TIp.

The second play of the evening, Dracula’s Daughters, directed by seniors Anna Stevenson and Josephine Smithson, shifted the focus from horror to hilarious comedy. In the play, Dracula, now a married man, fulfills the role of a father to his two young daughters. Both are being courted by potential suitors, as their father wishes them to be married, but each daughter wants to live life in her own way.

This play was absolutely drop-dead (or is it drop-undead?) hilarious, and had most audience members laughing uncontrollably in their seats, including myself. All cast members shone (or is it sparkled?) in their own unique roles, but some particular standouts in the cast were Matt Schroeder, senior (Count Dracula), and Nick Castro, senior (Mrs. Artsmore).

Schroeder managed to utter all his lines with an impeccably silly Bella Lugosi-esque accent, receiving many laughs from the delighted crowd. In regards to Nick Castro’s cross-dressing performance, I think he absolutely stole the show for many audience members. Castro’s antics earned many laughs and much applause from the audience all throughout the performance.

Both of these plays were a joy to watch, and it was clear that a great deal of effort and hard work went into its production. I especially enjoyed the double-feature nature of the production that seemed to echo the old drive-in double-feature horror movies of long ago.

The only downside to this play that I feel obliged to mention was the venue. The audience seating area was absolutely uncomfortable. It was disagreeably hot, and the spine-tingling sensation brought on by The Monkey’s Paw could almost be attributed to the hard metal folding chairs rather than the sensational acting. However, despite this one shortcoming, which remains clearly a budgeting issue and has nothing to do with the drama department itself, both plays were thoroughly enjoyable, and I certainly recommend that you see them if you have not already.