As the week slowly drags along and the lovely two-day break seems ages away, looking forward to the weekend surely helps to pass the time.
If you’re searching for an interesting and fun event to check out this weekend, Carver Middle School may have what you’re looking for. At 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, the school’s theater group will first be performing Not-So-Grim Tales, written by Kevin Bean, then Dinah Toups’ Totally Red at Carver’s auditorium.
Both plays are comedies, an appropriate genre for a bunch of intensely animated and energetic young people. Not-So-Grim Tales, which parodies the motives developed in traditional fairytales, is presented in the form of a mother-daughter scenario as a displeased mother alters stories for the benefit of her young daughter. Totally Red includes a band of traveling actors presenting the story of Little Red Riding Hood in several theatrical styles with a comedic spin. Students have been rehearsing since early September and are more than ready for the real thing.
Brooke Turner, director of both plays and drama teacher at Carver, understands the need for her young students to enjoy the introductory stages of theater, asserting that comedies are ideal for her dedicated group of young students.
“We always have more fun with comedies,” said Turner. “At this age, why not have more fun with comedies?”
Turner also feels the inclusion of many students is the best approach to theater at this age. Approximately 40 students from Carver are involved in the two performances, contributing in a variety of ways. In her director’s note, Turner expresses her reasoning for choosing these particular plays.
“This fall I wanted to give students the opportunity to act in a play that called for more of an ensemble group experience,” she wrote. “I struggled with shows because a smaller play meant less kids would have the chance to get involved.”
There are no leading actors, and each play provides many actors with a sufficient amount of lines. Quite a few students also participate in the behind-the-scenes responsibilities that make the performance a success.
Despite the friendly, all-inclusive mentality and the humorous atmosphere, theater at Carver Middle is taken seriously. People attending will have a unique chance to see young, solid actors in the making, since many of the school’s students have their eyes set on making the most of their talents, pursuing the next level of performing theatrically.
“We have the Specialty Center at Thomas Dale and a lot of our kids apply,” said Turner. “There is also the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts in Petersburg; a lot of our kids are planning to do this, so we have a serious approach.”
The cost of admission is $4 and free to children under 3. Tickets are available at the door of the auditorium. Proceeds will go directly into the funding of the musical that will be performed in the spring. Carver Middle is located at 3800 Cougar Trail, Chester. For more information, call the school at 524-3620.