Sometimes, it’s easier breaking into a house than it is getting back out.
Such is the case in “You Can’t Beat the House,” Creston Community High School’s all-school play. Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the CCHS auditorium.
Cost of admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students.
“Originally, I was set on one script and that didn’t really pan out as well as I thought it would,” said CCHS drama instructor Laura Granger. “I was changing my mind. In my advanced speech class, I had a handful of seniors, which the four main characters helped me read through a bunch of scripts. One day in class, we were reading the script aloud and we were in tears we were laughing so hard and knew this is the one we need to do.”
Granger said she initially thought about doing a serious piece for this year’s all-school play, but felt her actors would do more justice to a comedy piece.
“You Can’t Beat the House” provides opportunities for the actors to ad lib and improvise, something she felt was a strength of her cast.
“A lot of them are a core group of friends, so it’s easy for them to get together and practice,” Granger said. “We actually didn’t start until about five weeks ago. We waited until after state speech. We haven’t really had a lot of time with rehearsals to get them ready. You can expect a lot of fast-paced back-and-forth, some action moments and a lot of twists and turns.”
In the play, Merle (Clayton Davis) and Howie (Dylan Anson) break into a house only to find out the house is for sale. What follows is a balancing act as prospective buyers Conrad and Glenda Spears (Ethan Anderson and Olivia Cramer) show up leading Merle and Howie to act as realtors until the actual realtor, Courtney Parfait (Sasha Smith) shows up.
More and more characters continue to show up, and the house may or may not be haunted.
“I’m Glenda and I just had to put myself in her shoes. She has this secret and doesn’t want to tell people yet,” Cramer said about her role. “I just hope [the audience] thinks it’s funny. It’s really funny to us. It means a lot to have people laughing, enjoying themselves at our production and having a good time.”
Granger said with her four leads for this play being seniors who have become a close group of friends, the production has come together well for only practicing for five weeks.
“Their on-stage chemistry is really strong,” Granger said. “It wasn’t difficult for Dylan and Clayton to be playing caped crusaders, goofy kind of people robbing a place, being up to no good. Olivia and Ethan, on the other hand, that was a new role for them to be a couple. They can handle the arguing, but there is an on-stage kiss or two and that was something new for them. It’s a group of friends and the other cast members are a lot of kids who have got some stage experience already.”
“Howie, my character, is kind of a goofball with a big heart,” Anson said. “I’m typically kind of a goofy person, so it fit well. I have to get [Glenda] and her husband together. That’s my whole motive throughout the whole play.”
Granger said audience members can expect to laugh throughout the play, with plenty of hilarious lines and fun moments with all the characters.
This weekend’s performances will also be the first drama department performances with the new stage lights and sound system in the auditorium.
“We have some new hanging mics, so the kids’ projection, plus the amplification of the hanging mics will really help all audience members hear every moment,” Granger said. “And the lights are really cool for us because we’re doing some different things with the coloring and we’re doing that right from the board. We’re pretty proud of some of the technical aspects of what we’re doing with it.”