Drama department changes plays

Page Kimzey
Contributing Writer

Ashli Wagner
Business/Ads Manager

Alumni Caroline Siede as penny plays the hostess in the play “You can’t take it with you.” The drama department put the show on in 2008. Photo provided by the Webster Groves High School Drama department.
Alumni Caroline Siede as Penny plays the hostess in the play “You Can’t Take It With You.” The drama department put the show on in 2008. Photo provided by the drama department.

Drama department was going to perform the play called “Harvey,”  a 1944 Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, but now it will perform “You Can’t Take it with You.”

However, Todd Schaefer, the drama teacher, didn’t submit the rights at the beginning of the year to get the royalties and licensing and ended up submitting the rights near the end of December and beginning of January.

Because of the later submission, the drama department was put in a “pending” list, which means that the drama team was put on a waiting list where its performance was previewed along with everyone else applying for the rights to see who would get the rights to perform the play.

With some shows, the organization in charge of deciding who gets the rights to perform the plays has to look at who is producing the show and who else wants to produce it in order to determine who actually gets the right.

That is what happened in this case, somewhere else in the Mid-Western region, a professional company like the Rep wanted to produce the play within the next year, so the drama department was put on hold with regard to obtaining the rights.

“With the high school being a non-professional company, the rights were yanked out from under us. Since “Harvey” was an old play, I didn’t think there would be any competition with anyone else who wanted to produce the play,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer chose a play the drama department produced eight years ago on the Little Theater stage, and the drama department is going to revive it and do it on the big stage.

Schaefer had already cast “Harvey” but was able to take the entire cast from “Harvey” and fit it into “You can’t take it with You.”

“I got to add six more actors in the show; actually more than that, we probably got to add about 10 more actors. More people get to be involved,” Schaefer said.

“You Can’t take it With You” is an ensemble play about the Sycamore family, meaning every actor gets stage time, and there aren’t small parts.

“I really liked the old play ‘Harvey.’ Whenever you start a play you almost fall in love with it, but since I was told the day we did the reading, instead of way before like ‘Harvey,’ I didn’t have time to fall in love with it like I did ‘Harvey,’ but now that we are reading it and actually blocking it now, I love this play. I’m not upset about this at all, I really like it and I think it’s funny and good,” senior Becca Riley said about the switch.

“I was a little disappointed, but there are totally reasons for it, and it’s totally fine. I love the group, and I’m just as excited to work on any production with them,” senior Travis Williams said.

The cast rehearses Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 3 p.m. for the next six weeks. A week before the show, the rehearsal moves to 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. four times a week. Then the team has a tech Sunday, where the technicians of the show rehearse their duties.

The week of the show the performers rehearse from 3 to 7 p.m. everyday and have three dress rehearsals before the showing.

Leave a Reply