Wednesday, July 30, 2014

‘The Outsiders’ presents an insider’s view

From page B2 | January 23, 2013 |

What: “The Outsiders”

Who: Union Mine High School drama department

Where: Union Mine High School’s Theater of the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane, El Dorado

When: Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 and Feb. 7 to 9. Doors open at 7 p.m. and curtain is at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 adult, $8 high school students and younger, $7 UMHS ASB. Thursday night student special $5 for high school students and younger. Tickets are sold at the door the night of the performance.

Information: 530-621-4004 ext. 4605


“The Outsiders” was written by S.E. Hinton when she was only 16. The powerful story of struggle and hope seen through the eyes of Ponyboy, a “Greaser” who is caught up in territorial battles between the underprivileged “Greasers” and the wealthy “Socs,” became  a modern classic and was the source for a well-loved movie and play.

It is Union Mine High School’s first play of 2013 and opens Jan.31 in the Theater of the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane, El Dorado.

The  two-act play was pitched for selection by seniors Kayla Warner, Jordan Hyatt-Miller and Cyle Sullivan who are the directors.

“We loved the story and there is a lot of emotional range to this play,” said Hyatt-Miller. “It really pushes the actors and the directors.”

“We have a great cast with a lot of first-timers,” said Warner. “They have grown so much in the past few weeks as actors. It’s been fun to watch.”

All three directors have been in seven high school plays as actors and involved with backstage work as well.

“I’ve done every single possible job there is in a production,” said Sullivan.

The play is true to the book said Hyatt-Miller, with a few differences from the movie. “”We have a big cast, so we can do a lot of things on stage,” said Hyatt-Miller, “but one of the challenges is that we had to create five different set locations.”

The play moves from a drive-in to a park, a hospital, a church and a classroom as tensions between the two groups erupt from confrontation to tragedy.

Drama instructor Peter Miller said the play was able to re-use some of the costumes from “Grease,” a play performed by the Union Mine drama department about five years ago.

Although “The Outsiders” is a new play for UMHS, Miller thinks it will be very well received.

“Most people read the book in middle school and our auditions were the biggest we’ve ever had for a winter play. The story really draws you in,” Miller said.



An unusual feature in the Union Mine production of “The Outsiders” is the number of first-time performers in it.

Playing the lead, Ponyboy, is Sam Murphy, a freshman who is in his first semester of beginning drama.

“I’ve been in a few plays at Imagination Theater, taken some acting classes and done drama improvisation at Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp, but this is my first high school play,” said Murphy.

He’s read the book several times and seen the movie.

“In the movie, Ponyboy didn’t show a lot of emotion, but you knew he had to be feeling it. My interpretation will show him from his happiest highs to his lowest lows,” Murphy said.

“This is only the second time we’ve had a freshman in a lead role but it’s very exciting,” said Miller. “Also, we have almost an entirely different cast from our last play, ‘Dracula,’ so we pulled from a new pool of actors and that’s exciting, too.”

Paris Taitague, a senior who plays Ponyboy’s best friend, Johnny, is another first time performer.

“I’ve taken drama since my freshman year, but since I was involved in sports, I wasn’t able to be in the plays. Baseball season hasn’t started yet, so I tried out. ‘The Outsiders’ is my favorite book and I really wanted to play Johnny,” Taitague said.

Brian Smith, a senior, plays the pivotal role of Dallas, an older friend of Ponyboy and Johnny. He is another first-time actor.

“I read the book in eighth grade and I’ve always been involved in sports. I didn’t play football this year and baseball season hasn’t started, so I tried out for the play,” Smith said.

Smith tried out for the play before taking his first drama class.

“Remembering lines is easier than I expected, but remembering lines and moving at the same time was hard at first,” Smith said.

He said he was very nervous during the try-outs.

“There were about 50 people trying out and only 22 made it. This is a nice transition from sports,” Smith said.

Caffrey Lynch, a sophomore, is a veteran actor.

“I’ve been in three plays at Union Mine: a comedy, ‘Dracula’ and now this one. It’s a good range,” Lynch said.

She plays the female lead, Cherry, a Soc who learns to value friendships with the Greasers and inadvertently accelerates their conflict. Cherry is her first speaking role in high school, although Lynch has been in two plays for Imagination Theater.

“I have to dye my hair red for the part, so I’m waiting for a couple of weeks,” said Lynch, ” because I’m on the Aquasols swim team and it will just come out in the water.”

Other members of the cast include: Bob (Carter Price); Randy (Kevin Ralphs); Two-Bit (Daniel La Grou); Darry (Daniel Stevenson); Sodapop (Smith Purdum); Sandy (Skyler DePaoli); Marcia (Bianca Zuniga); Mrs. O’Briant (Laura Chastain); Jerry (Cole Fraser); Doctor (Beth Howard); Nurse (Caiti Blockus); Mr. Syme (Dylan Punturo); Paul (Will Van Deusen).

Extras include: Brian Williams, Jessica Larson, Shane Bong, Stephanie Lemon, Adam Dewater and Shayna Bonner.

The backstage crew is stage manager Conner Purdum, Elizabeth Herzog on lights and Alyssa Eckroth, backstage.

“We are doing the play how we want to do it — not specifically for any particular audience,” said Taitague. “We are doing it for us.”

“Most people know the story and they say they love the movie,” said Murphy. “But we want them to say they loved the play.”

“The Outsiders” opens Thursday, Jan.31 and plays Feb.1 and 2, 7, 8 and 9. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the play begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for high school students and younger, $7 for UMHS ASB. On Thursday night there is a student special — $5 for high school students and younger. Tickets are sold at the door the night of the performance.

For more information call 530-621-4004 ext. 4605.





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