Canfield Players present two plays

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.The Canfield High School Players will perform “The Odd Couple” April 21-22. Cast members include Kaleigh Ceci as Cecily Pigeon (left), Alex Sanders as Oscar Madison, Alanna Holden as Gwendolyn Pigeon and Gregory Halley as Felix Ungar (right).

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Alex Sanders as Oscar Madison (left) and Gregory Halley as Felix Ungar will star in the Canfield High School Players production of “The Odd Couple."

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.“The Odd Couple” cast, from left, Gregory Halley as Felix Ungar, Elijah Mt. Castle as Murray, Alex Sanders at Oscar Madison, Hayden Nottingham as Roy, Benjamin Lawson as Speed and Eva Lamberson as Vinnie, acted out a scene from the play on April 11.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.The Canfield High School Players will perform “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” April 21-22. Cast members include, from left, Lauren Johnson as Beatrice, Emma Kadilak as Tilly and Emily Dunlap as Ruth.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” cast members, from left, Lauren Johnson as Beatrice, Emily Dunlap as Ruth and Emma Kadilak as Tilly performed a scene from the play on April 11.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” Stage Manager Grace Schuler (left) and “The Odd Couple” Stage Manager Marina Campos conferred over a script as the Canfield High School Players prepared to perform the two plays April 21-22.

By ABBY SLANKER

neighbors@vindy.com

In a departure from the traditional spring musical, the Canfield High School Players will present two strait plays, one a comedy and one a musical. The students will perform “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon and “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” by Paul Zindel.

The comedy, “The Odd Couple,” is directed by Regina Reynolds, while Dr. Becky Heikkinen will direct the drama, “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.”

“Our drama department is doing a truly unique presentation. While many high schools focus mainly on musical theater, the Canfield Players are presenting both a drama and a comedy. They are performing both an all women’s play and a primarily all men’s play. They are doing this on the same stage with the same set while just changing props and set items,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds also said the plays are also a learning experience for the students.

“The students are learning not only about two very different genres of theater, but how to share stage time, which is more difficult them one would imagine. The current trend of two musicals in a school year is in contradiction to the truth that students interested in theater or acting will have far more opportunities to work in film and non-musical theater then in musicals. There is an educational aspect to non-musical theater that is important for students, such as more character development and what makes a great script. This is not to say that musical theater isn’t important. Canfield also does great musical theater but we are, I believe, the only school in Mahoning County doing two non-musical, also called straight, plays,” Reynolds said.

Heikkinen and Reynolds worked together to choose the plays.

“I’ve always wanted to do ‘The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.’ I acted in it in college and it’s a really good play. Since this is my final year directing plays, after 19 years, I really wanted to do this one as my last one. It’s a cast of five girls and is dramatic and serious. When I talked to Regina about it, she suggested an essentially all-boy play to counteract my play. And the fact that it’s a comedy, it’s like night and day,” Heikkinen said.

Columbiana County Judge Mark Frost, who is also an actor in community theater, designed and built the set.

“The set is the same for both plays. The set was adapted a bit for each play and we just made it work for both. We really appreciate Judge Frost helping us out. He donated so much of his time to build the set. Elijah Mt. Castle also helped with the set quite a bit,” Heikkinen said.

“The Odd Couple” will be performed April 21 at 2 p.m. and April 22 at 4 p.m. at the Canfield High School auditorium. “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” will be performed April 21 at 7 p.m. and April 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Canfield High School auditorium. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. Attendees may buy one ticket and enjoy both shows.

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