EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Playwright and humorist George S. Kaufman looms large at Egg Harbor Township High School this week, where the drama club is set to present four plays in four days.
Pulitzer-prize winning play “You Can’t Take it With You,” set in 1936 and written by Kaufman and Moss Hart, premiers Thursday, Nov. 30, followed by “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” also by Moss and Kaufman, on Friday, Dec. 1. “Stage Door,” written by Edna Ferber and Kaufman, is set for Saturday, Dec. 2, with another Moss and Hartman comedy, “George Washington Slept Here,” offered Sunday, Dec. 3.
By presenting four different plays it’s possible to find a part for almost everyone who wants one, said Matt Guenther, a teacher at the school and the director of the plays.
“The reason is we have 60 kids who audition,” said Guenther. Most plays have about 15 parts, he said. “So sorry, 45 other kids who auditioned.”
The plays are each set in the late 1930s or 1940, and in drawing rooms or homes, so they could use a single stage set for each play, and rearrange the props and furniture for each piece.
“This year, we tackle four of the greatest comedies from classic Broadway and put them into one stage set,” wrote Guenther in the playbook to be distributed to attendees. “Yes, we are as crazy as your family at Thanksgiving (as are the characters in our plays tonight).”
The club has twice before tried a similar approach, and Guenther is confident it will work well this year. There are from 60 to 80 students involved, including the cast of each play, the stage and tech crews. For 20 of the students, this is their first taste of a high school production, having come from the musicals of the middle school.
According to Guenther, a huge amount of work has gone into the production already, not just from the actors and crew, but also the parents who have worked on everything from costumes to publicity.
The playbook includes information on each of the participating students, including the cast and crew.
Tickets are $5. Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s productions start at 6 p.m. at the high school, 24 High School Drive, with the Sunday matinee set for 1 p.m. A combo ticket for all four performances is $15. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 609-653-0100.
The cast for “You Can’t Take It With You” includes Gabrielle Shockley, Paris Hitchens, Trish Le, Andrew Ireland, Devin Lewis, Jason Pittner, Joey Tepper, Chase Dannelly, Marta Crimi, Catherine Cincotti, Kani Brown, Mason Brown, Joanie Daigle, Jermaine Bethea, Cheyenne Smith, Elaine Mercato, Francesca Merlino, Christine Merlino and Kristina Kenney.
The cast of “The Man Who Came t Dinner” includes Faith Lynn Diccion, Julissa Villatoro, Craig Mulhern, Samantha Sandler, Jason Pittner, Jessica Kershenblatt, Christine Merlino, Francesca Merlino, Duncan Bevilaequa, Malikah Stafford, Mason Brown, Lucas Hunter, Madelyne Rawls, Andrew Ireland, Evan Yoder, Riley Serback, Joey Tepper, Jermaine Bethea, Devin Lewis, Elaine Mercato, Ted Guzman, Jules Gonzales, Marissa Jackson, Martha Crimi, Paris Hitchens, Trish Le and Julia Kowal.
The cast of “Stage Door” includes Catherine Concotti, Trish Le, Julianna Gonzalez,Alex Dembin, Joanie Daigle, Olivia Phelps, Kristina Kenny, Iliana Tordorovski, Marisa Jackson, Logan Santana, Devon Percy, Jordan Santana, Emily McAndrews, Lucas Hunter, Julia Kowal, Sole Townsend, Va’Najaha Swain, Jaslynne Thompson, Riley Serback, Paris Hitchens, Jermaine Bethea, Francesca Merlino, Christine Merlino, Ted Guzman, Andrew Bechara, Paris Kitchens, Devin Lewis, Samantha Sandler, Zoey Gerhardt, Duncan Bevilaqua, Elaine Mercato and Malikah Stafford.
The cast of “George Washington Slept Here” includes Lucas Hunter, Kani Brown, Alex Dembin, Julissa Vilatoro, Riley Serback, Faith Lynn Diccion, Logan Santana, Andrew Bechara, Jordan Santana, Emily McAndrews, Craig Mulhern, Chase Dannelly, Paris Hitchens, Julianna Gonzalez, Marta Crimi, Samantha Sandler and Ted Guzman.