The Stissing Theatre Guild (STG) is presenting their fall play, “Fools” by Neil Simon, on December 1, 2, and 3 at Stissing Mountain High School.
This is the fourth year that STG has presented a fall play in addition to the annual spring musical, and this is the first year that the performance will be held in the auditorium at the high school, as opposed to in the Stissing Center.
“Fools” is a comic play that is set in a small village in the Ukraine during the 19th century. The play follows a schoolteacher, Leon Tolchinsky, who comes to the village to educate a student named Sophia. Shortly after arriving in the village, he discovers that there is a curse on the townsfolk that makes everyone stupid, and complications ensue further when Leon falls in love with Sophia.
The Stissing Theatre Guild’s Facebook page describes the play as a “wacky comedy that will have you laughing uproariously.”
The stars of the show
Senior and STG veteran Leandra Costa said that the fall play is much different than the spring musical. “This play is more intimate and intricate. There’s much more focus on line delivery and you really have to make sure that you’re nailing each line,” she said. “The musical is more of a big picture type of production and more of an overall spectacle.”
Senior Kelsey Atkinson joked that she’s really taken this play to heart. “I’m really dumb now.”
Junior Logan Cavey said that he prefers the fall production as opposed to the spring one because it’s “easier to bond with the rest of the group.”
The fall production is only open to high school students, whereas the spring production is open to students from fourth to twelfth grade.
For senior James Fergus King, this play is his first performance on stage. “I’ve been a part of the lighting and crew for the musical, so I’ve always been backstage, but I wanted to try being on stage at least once before I graduated.”
James said that while it’s been fun learning how to act on stage, he likely won’t do it again. He also noted that he’s happy he tried out for the fall play, rather than the spring musical. “I hate musicals,” he laughed.
Junior Patrick Cronin is also a newcomer to performing. He said that so far, it’s been easier than he expected. “The most stressful part is having to memorize the lines.”
Senior Cat Stoner arguably has the most important job as the stage manager. “I feel like I’m babysitting half the time,” she joked.
Sophomore Lee Griffin is no newcomer to performing arts, as he has taken part in many STG productions prior to this one. An added challenge currently is that he’s juggling multiple shows between his performance in “Fools” and his work at the Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center.
Tenth grade English teacher and fall performance director Greg Locker said that his students have been a really great group to work with.
“When you’re directing a comedy, it’s really important to allow the actors to ‘find the funny’ and each of these actors has brought a lot to the table,” he said. “It’s a huge risk to stand on a stage and make a fool of yourself as an adolescent; I’m proud of them for that. Their lives are so busy – between school, athletics, and a host of extracurricular activities – I am very appreciative of the time that they are able to give to this production.”
The Stissing Theatre Guild’s performance of “Fools” will take place at Stissing Mountain High School on Friday, December 1, Saturday, December 2, and Sunday, December 3. Tickets are available for purchase here.