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The Man Who Came to Dinner

Lisa Chen, Sports Editor

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“Break a leg!” While most people would not desire to hear this phrase, it would be music to a group of students’ ears as they work hard to produce art and entertainment. Unlike last year’s fall play, this year’s features a larger cast.

This year’s play is The Man Who Came to Dinner, centering around Sheridan Whiteside, a fictional famous radio personality. He is invited to go to dinner at the Stanley family’s house, but when he gets there, he slips on a piece of ice at the doorstep and breaks his hip. Whiteside starts suing the Stanleys for his injury and taking over their house as he’s confined to a wheelchair. He causes many random and crazy people to arrive at the house frequently. The Stanleys have no control over the situation, creating a lot of conflict. The play highlights the absurd circumstances that occur because of Whiteside.

“I’m most excited about seeing people’s reactions [to the play] and hoping they laugh at what I find funny,” Amanda Chadwell (12), the performer for Maggie, Whiteside’s secretary, said.

Chadwell’s character encounters unexpected feelings during her stay at the family’s house, causing the appearance of Whiteside’s mischievous side.

“While (Maggie) is at the house, she ends up falling in love with somebody else and wants to leave her post as secretary,” Chadwell said. “Whiteside doesn’t want that to happen, so he creates a scheme to keep her.”

Whiteside’s scheme involves bringing in another woman to stir the pot.

“I play Lorraine Sheldon,” Jordan Vandenberghe (12) said. “She’s called in by Mr. Whiteside to steal Maggie’s man. Her goal, ultimately, is to come in thinking she will be cast in a play and it turns into a revenge plot.”

The conflict between characters adds an unique aspect for cast members.

“I’m most excited about starring on stage with Amanda Chadwell,” Vandenberghe said. “She’s one of my best friends and we get to play enemies in this production, so I’m very excited to try that.”

In order to prepare for the final production, the actors and actresses must thoroughly practice their lines and actions.

“We do a lot of dress rehearsals,” Vandenberghe said. “It’s a lot of late night work; we get notes and we take the notes to heart.”

Although the play requires many hours for practice, the commitment is not a problem for the crew as many of the cast members take part in the play because of their passion for performing.

“Ever since kindergarten I’ve always loved being in production, so when I got to high school and joined show choir, I decided I might as well do the plays too,” Chadwell said.

Additionally, through the practices, the cast grows closer to one another. “I’ve never been in a play at Homestead before so I’m excited for the experience of it, but also getting to hang out with everyone,” Khira Hickbottom (11), the actress for June Stanley, said.

While passion plays a significant role in theater, the feeling of being on stage is unmatchable and adds to the intensity of performing.

“The adrenaline rush is unbelievable and knowing that you’re making art while you’re doing it is the best feeling in the world,” Vandenberghe said.

Even if someone’s passion is not art, he or she can still enjoy and appreciate the play.

“I think the arts are for everyone,” Hickbottom said. “It’s a form of expression. If you don’t like to be apart of it, then you can always enjoy watching it because there’s something for everyone.”

Be prepared to laugh during the fall production of The Man Who Came to Dinner, on Nov. 2-4 in the auditorium. Tickets are $8 per person.

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