Tag: SPC Play

Students showcase talent in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

by DEBRA MONTANDON

If you ever feel down and out, you aren’t alone. Just watch Charlie Brown.

Students in the South Plains College Theater program presented “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” on March 28-March 31 in the Helen Devitt Jones Theater on the Levelland Campus.

55698477_2586188038076972_6859128050919931904_nThe opening of the play has each character describing some of Charlie Brown’s previous failures, before they sang “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

In the next skit, Charlie Brown points out his flaws that he sees in himself. Justin Fraley from Hobbs, New Mexico, did a remarkable job of portraying Charlie Brown. Even when he sings, you can hear as if Charlie Brown is doing the singing himself.

Throughout the play, you do feel bad for Charlie Brown because bad things just happen to him a lot. He even asks at one point, “When do good things start?”

In another scene, Charlie Brown notices the little red head sitting alone, but he doesn’t have the guts to go and sit with her. He refers to himself as a coward.

“Lunch time is one of the worse times for me,” said Charlie Brown.

The vocal talent in this play was impressive, and they harmonized very well. They also were supported by a small orchestra of five musicians, under the direction of Dr. Debbie Gelber

Each of the actors did a super job of portraying the characters. Dalynn Beck, from Vera, 55462936_2586189104743532_3029532504529829888_nplayed the part of Sally. A sophomore at SPC, Beck said that that she loves stepping into the shoes of a character and seeing things from their perspective.”  She would like to be on Broadway one day and plans on a career in acting.   

Christina Johnson played the role of Snoopy. A freshman at SPC, Johnson said that she loves acting because “you can create a new world,” and she also hopes to make it a career.

Schroeder was played by Brendyn Rodriguez, who is in his first semester at SPC. He was influenced to come to SPC by the theater program. Rodriguez, who was in One Act plays while in high school in Brownfield, says he enjoys acting because you “get to be someone else.” He added that he loves performing for an audience and making them think he is someone else. He does not plan a career in acting, but would like to teach drama.

Joel Palma played the role of Linus. A sophomore at SPC, Palma was a part of several plays in high school in Denver City. He said he likes to “escape from reality and concentrate on the character.” He plans a career in acting.

“It was a great experience working with this cast,” Palma added. “It was awkward at first, but we became a family in the end.”

Tiffany Martinez, from Lubbock, played the role of Lucy.

Serving as the director for the play was Dr. Dan K. Nazworth, chairperson of the Fine Arts Department at SPC.

He says that he picked “Charlie Brown” because he knew he wanted to do a musical this 55949843_2586178954744547_6038206968538071040_nsemester and the cast size would fit. Dr. Gelber, who served as music director, also liked it.

Rehearsals started the first week of the spring semester, and students had to audition for their roles.

Dr. Nazworth first gathered the students around a piano so he could find out who could sing. Then he gave them a script to listen to them read, before he and Dr. Gelber figured out who should get each part.

“Theater is a factory, not just an art form,” said Dr. Nazworth.

The orchestra was directed by Dr. Debbie Gelber, who also played the keyboard. Sesha Wallace played the woodwinds, with Robert Meinecke on violin. Dustin Pedigo played the Bass, and Dr. Al Gardner played percussion.

I was pleasantly surprised by the small number who made up the orchestra, as they did an amazing job throughout the performance.

Assisting with the production were: Kelly Duval, who served as stage manager; Kodee Scott, who assisted with sound; Tracie Boyd, who assisted with lights; and Kennedy Walling, who assisted with the Box Office.

Neurotic father arranges marriage of his daughter in ‘Imaginary Invalid’

Students in the theatre program at South Plains College had the audience rolling with laughter with their performances of “The Imaginary Invalid” their first play of the fall semester.

The play, which was held from Nov. 2 – Nov. 4m was written by Molière, who actually collapsed from a coughing fit on stage during his fourth performance as Argan, dying soon after from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1673.

The “Imaginary Invalid” is a French play featuring a hypochondriac named Argan, played by Justin Frayley, who tries to marry his daughter, Angélique, played by Mia Pekowski, to a young and stupid doctor, Thomas Diafoirus, played by Caden Leverton.

Argan wants to do this so that does not have to resolve his past medical bills, and can have cheaper medical bills in the future.

Angélique is in love with the handsome Cléante, played by Ryan Burk, who poses as a substitute music instructor to get closer to her. They even break out into a short song professing their love for each other right in front of Argan, who is too dull to notice what is actually happening.

Meanwhile, Argan’s wife, Beline, played by Kelly Deuvall, has only married Argan for his money, and plots to scam Argan by bringing in her own notary, who is also her lover, convincing Argan to leave his entire wealth and estate to her.

Argan’s  intelligent maid, Toinette, played by Tracie Boyd, notices Beline acting suspicious and chooses to investigate. Beline tells Angélique her plan to try to stay close to Argan, and promises to stop terrorizing him while nobody else is around.

Béralde, played by Joel Palma, is Argan’s brother. He visits Argan in his home to talk to him about his actual illness of hypochondria. Argan is having none of it, and they switch topics a few times between who Angélique is going to marry, whether or not Béline is a disloyal wife.

Argan and Beralde also have a discussion about doctors, and how they prey upon the poor to avoid financial and reputable blowback when they end up killing their patients, which happens often. Argan does not believe any of this, and is convinced he will die of his illnesses.

angeliqueToinette disguises herself as an old, reputable doctor, and confronts Argan about his health, saying his lungs are killing him, and that his left eye is taking nourishment from the right and needs to be removed, along with one of his arms. This further reinforces the idea that Argan is delusional and will believe anything an alleged doctor would tell him.

Toinette then comes up with a scheme for Argan to pretend to be dead when his wife gets home from her errands. They act out the scene, and a bewildered, excited Beline confesses her happiness that her husband is now dead. Argan confronts Beline and she runs off.

Next, Toinette and Argan do the same skit for Angelique, who is horrified and deeply upset at her father’s death, claiming that he is everything she has ever held dear. With these newfound epiphanies, Argan is convinced to become his own doctor. His family tells him that it is as simple as saying a few words, donning doctor clothing, and the knowledge will just spring up into his head.

The play closes with Argan’s ceremony, validating him as a doctor.

The cast enjoyed their experience rehearsing for “The Imaginary Invalid”.

“This year, everybody is getting along,” said Palma. “Everybody is getting to know each other. It feels like more of a family.”

The cast rehearsed almost daily for the past few weeks, putting in time and effort to learn lines, and the set.

“It’s been very stressful and time consuming,” said Leverton. “Dr. Nazworth is an experience to have, and the friends are worth it.”

The play was a pleasure to watch. It was full of witty euphemisms and had (maybe) inadvertently tackled a few modern issues surrounding healthcare.