After a summer abroad in Scotland, the Ridgewood High School New Players have returned with an exciting lineup of shows for the start of the school year. The shows include Larry Shue’s The Foreigner, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and New Players in Concert.
In The Foreigner, directed by Nate Hamm, British Staff Sergeant Froggy Leseuer (Morgan Mastrangelo) drops the shy and timid Charlie (Sam Flynn) off at an old friend’s bed and breakfast in rural Georgia. Charlie, a science fiction proofreader whose wife finds him incredibly boring, is terrified of any form of conversation and laments that he will not be able to speak to anyone. Froggy responds by secretly telling the other residents in the house that he does not speak or understand any English. Thus, the other guests carry on, saying all manner of interesting things as they assume he cannot understand them. He eventually finds himself tangled up in a plot to shut down the inn, headed by none other than second in command, Owen Musser (Jack Mathey) of the local Ku Klux Klan. Hilarity ensues as Charlie simultaneously attempts to confront his fear of talking, save the hotel, and fake a comically ambiguous foreign accent. The second main stage production of the New Players’ year is Thornton Wilder’s quintessential American play Our Town. The play follows the lives of Emily Webb (Katie Van Buskirk) and George Gibbs (Morgan Mastrangelo) in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, at the turn of the twentieth century. The play opens with George and Emily in their teenage years. They walk together to school like they normally do and talk about life in general while the days go by around them. Several years later, act two opens the morning before Emily and George’s wedding. In the hustle and bustle of the day, George and Emily both get a hilarious set of misgivings about the wedding, yet the Stage Manager (Eve Scharfenberg), emerges to calm their fears and the wedding goes off seamlessly and all is well. However, this is not the end of their story! Act three is a real shocker; if you would like to see this tremendous story of life in a small town, not unlike Ridgewood, come see Our Town, directed by Rosie McCooe, December 10 to 12.
The first New Players performance of 2016, which will start production in 2015, is New Players in Concert. New Players in Concert is the largest New Players production of the year, often featuring over 120 Ridgewood High School students. Senior New Players will direct 15 minute scenes from various musicals and cast all who audition to create a two hour extravaganza of musical theatre euphoria. The auditions are open to all students, so if you have ever wanted to see what it would be like to perform in a New Players show, this is the perfect opportunity. Auditions will take place during December, prior to the winter break. In Concert scenes from previous years include Wicked, Pippin, Urinetown, and Hairspray.
Whether in the audience or on the stage, the New Players invite all to enjoy their highly anticipated, upcoming season. Packed with hilarious comedies and opportunities to experience classic theatre, the autumn and winter season will be a great time for drama at Ridgewood High School. Come one, come all!