This weekend, the Creston High School Drama Club will be performing “Flowers for Algernon,” a drama written by David Rogers based on the novel by Daniel Keyes. The play will star Wyatt Franklin, Marie Mullin, Brendan Millslagle, and others and will be directed by Laura Granger.
The play follows Charlie Gordon (Wyatt Franklin,) a mentally disabled man who undergoes an experimental treatment which brings him to near-genius level intellect. The experiment was modeled after a mouse named Algernon that, through the course of the testing, was able to complete a maze in an abnormally short amount of time. Granger said that Gordon finds love, works through his traumatic past, and that the play carries the message of acceptance.
Granger also said that “Flowers for Algernon” was more challenging for the students given the COVID-19 pandemic, since both the cast of the production and the audience will be required to wear masks. In order to express their characters, the actors have to employ more physical activity on stage than they are accustomed to given this new normal. An additional challenge for the actors, Granger said, was that they were given their scripts over Christmas break but had only been practicing the play for the past four weeks.
The short time frame for memorizing dialogue was a concern for lead actor Franklin and that he portrays a mentally disabled man, which he aims to perform as faithfully and without causing offense to the audience.
Franklin, a senior, said that he has been learning more from his underclassmen performers and that they have all stepped up and pulled their weight. Franklin also said that he has been able to adapt to the virus precautions which require more body movement given that the cast must be masked on stage.
On why she chose a dramatic piece for students this year, Granger said, “I think that it would be a very good idea to challenge them as actors to go there and be able to show a range of their acting ability that nobody’s ever seen.”
“Flowers for Algernon” will be performed 7 p.m. March 5 and 6, and 2 p.m. March 7. Admission will cost $5 and the audience will be required to wear a mask and socially distance.