What: “Bullshot Crummond”
Who: Union Mine High School Drama Department
Where: Union Mine High School, Theater at the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane, El Dorado
When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 3, 4, 9 and 11. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults $10, students $8 and high school students with associated student body cards $7
Information: 530-621-4003, ext. 4605
EL DORADO — Sammy Owens knows experience about life on stage.
The Union Mine High School senior has been acting in plays for the school’s drama department since her freshman year. While acting in last year’s play, “Fools,” Owens and fellow drama student Olivia Manning started thinking about their roles for this year’s play “Bullshot Crummond” — from the director’s chair.
“We talked about how we really wanted to do it,” Owens said. “We talked to our friend (William Gardner, a Union Mine senior who is also part of the drama department) about it, and he decided he wanted to do it, too. So we talked to (Pete Miller, drama teacher at the campus) and he let us do it.”
Now Owens, Manning and Gardner are sharing the director’s chair in “Bullshot Crummond.”
The play takes place in London in the 1930s when Nazi collaborators Otto and Lenya Von Brunno attempt to steal a secret formula from British professor Rupert Fenton.
As part of the plan, the Von Brunnos crash their airplane into the professor’s front yard. The duo kidnap the professor.
The plot thickens as the professor’s younger daughter Rosemary contacts Detective Hugh “Bullshot” Crummond to rescue her kidnapped father.
The severity of the play’s subject matter belies its comic relief.
“It’s really funny once you get to see it,” Owens said.
Crummond’s detective skill sets are a combination of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and The Pink Panther rolled into one to create mysterious coincidences and obscure circumstances that guarantee a good laugh according to the directors.
The play was originally written by Ron House, Diz White, John Neville-Andrews, Alan Shearman, and Derek Cunningham.
“Bullshot Crummond” is described as “the essence of a fantastic melodrama,” Pete Miller, drama instructor at Union Mine High School.
The play dates are Feb. 3, 4, 9 and 11. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to directing, Owens is in charge of the business affairs of the play that include public relations work; making posters, designing the program and e-mailing announcements about the play.
Owens appreciates working behind the scenes now that she sees what goes on off-stage.
“You get use to learning the lines, and that was all that I was used to,” Owens said. “Now that I’m backstage, I see how much more there is to it. You have to get all the costumes, and all the information out. It’s a lot to control, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Owens figures the amount of time she put into remembering lines and rehearsals is about the same amount of time as working behind the scenes of the play.
Some actors usually have jitters on the first night of the play. Owens expects the same although she’s not performing.
“There is always the worry of not getting done in time,” said Owens, who strongly feels the first show will be successful, but the shows after the first show will be stronger performances.
Brandon Smart, a junior at Union Mine who has been involved in plays since he was in fifth grade, is in charge of implementing some of the movie scenes onto the stage.
“This play implements a lot of movie scenes,” said Smart. “We try to recreate most of the special effects, switching between scenes. The backstage people are in charge of the props like the little cars. It’s really fun. I’m really glad I’ve learned this aspect of it; you can’t get a full aspect of theater with just being on stage.”
Working in setting up the stage has been a “challenge” Smart said.
“Some of the transitions have been really rapid,” said Smart, who designed the poster for the play. “It’s really fun and rewarding.”
Ethan Seither, also a senior, plays Bullshot Crummond. Seither and the rest of the cast for the play started rehearsing prior to winter break.
“Rehearsals have been really fun,” Seither said. “The nature of this play is overdone and comedic. It really lends itself to a fun atmosphere; very laid back and the student-actors are all great people.”
Seither described his character as a cross between 007 and Holmes, but with a sense of humor that the other two fictional characters displayed very little of in their books and movies.
“Inspectors notice almost everything and are just completely clueless about the obvious things,” Seither said.
The rest of the cast is: Otto Von Brunno (William Van Deusen), Lenya Von Brunno (Rae Begnell), Prof. Fenton (Jon Michael Green), Rosemary (Beth Howard), Algy Longwort (Jordan Hyatt-Miller), Policeman 1 (Kevin Ralphs), Policeman 2 (Caffrey Lynch), Waiter (Cyle Sullivan), Wolfgang/Scabbard (Daniel LaGrou) and Marovitch (Cole Fraser).
The crew behind the scenes is: Kayla Warner, house manager; Alex Savage, light technician; Matt Dwyer, sound technician and backstage are Smart, Cierra Kerby, Anthony Silva, Scott McIntyre, Stephanie Lemon and George Johnston.
Admission for adults is $10, students $8 and high school students with associated student body cards $7.
For more information on the play call the campus at 530-621-4003, ext. 4605 or visit theatreatthemine.org.
E-mail Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-344-5079.