After putting on the Diary of Anne Frank last year, the cast and crew returning for this year’s Jonathan Dayton’s drama production would have been justified in thinking they were in for a break prepping the light comedy “The Foreigner.”
They didn’t expect that a hurricane and resultant massive power outages would threaten to derail the production. But, as they say, the show must go on.
At first the cast was unable to communicate. The students learned their lines by candlelight or in long car rides to the warm houses of relatives. Unable to practice in the theater, they instead met up in Barnes & Noble and rehearsed in the yoga room at No Body Denied Fitness. Dayton faculty, notably teacher Steven DiGangi, and students worked on weekends to construct and paint sets.
“What makes me the most proud is that the community came together,” director and Dayton High English Teacher and Director Anthony DeNicolo said, noting that the business community and the school community alike offered support.
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, with two days before the show’s debut, the sets were still being painted.
“We’re still in the process,” director and Dayton High English Teacher and Director Anthony DeNicolo said. “Sandy set us back.”
The actor’s chemistry was demonstrably in place at a marathon rehearsal at the Dayton auditorium. The comedy’s plot follows a man who, on a trip to a Georgia fishing lodge, decides to pretend to not speak English. While the character, played by Jarred Graber, initially adopts the ruse to avoid conversation, he instead comes to know the idiosyncratic oddball characters at the lodge more deeply.
“It’s been so much fun to do,” actor and sophomore Caroline Haskins said. “We’ve had a lot of laughs with the cast.
Junior Julianna Pica said that while mounting the play was fun, acting in a comedy brought its own unique challenge, as she had to create a character that was both realistic and funny.
“That’s what makes it funny,” Pica said. “It has to be a three dimensional character. You can’t just say a punch-line.”
The Foreigner will go on tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Jonathan Dayton High School Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.