Previous Productions by the Highlander Theatre Company...
John Cariani creates a world unto itself just a bit north. Welcome to Almost, Maine, a town that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States—it’s almost in Canada. And it almost doesn’t exist. Because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it’s just…Almost.
One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. And life for the people of Almost, Maine will never be the same.
ALMOST, MAINE: It’s love. But not quite.
The Foreigner has earned two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by "Froggy" LeSeuer, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time "Froggy" has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So "Froggy," before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone, the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should—the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate; the fact that the minister's pretty fiancée is pregnant; and many other damaging revelations made with the thought that Charlie doesn't understand a word being said. That he does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the "bad guys," and the "good guys" emerge triumphant.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
This hilarious tale of overachievers' angst chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. The show's Tony Award winning creative team has created the unlikeliest of hit musicals about the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Mary Chase
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Mary Chase is a classic comedy, which follows the highly successful run of the drama, A Lesson Before Dying.
Harvey concerns Elwood P. Dowd, an affable man who claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend Harvey — whom Elwood describes as a six-foot, one-and-one-half-inch tall pooka, a mythic rabbit. Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. His social-climbing sister, Veta, increasingly finds his eccentric behavior embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare her and her daughter, Myrtle Mae, from future embarrassment.
When they arrive at the sanitarium, a comedy of errors ensues. The doctors commit Veta instead of Elwood, but when the truth comes out, the search is on for Elwood and his invisible companion. When Elwood shows up at the sanitarium looking for his lost friend Harvey, it seems that the mild-mannered Elwood’s delusion has had a strange influence on the staff, including sanitarium director, Dr. Chumley, and his medical partner, Dr. Sanderson.
Ran December 2012
A Lesson Before Dying
This fall, the Highlander Theater Company will present "A Lesson Before Dying" by Romulus Linney, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines. Given the relatively young cast, Director Robert Cutrofello has already called his eighth rehearsal this summer, hoping to reach perfection by October.
Based in 1948, backwoods Louisiana, the innocent, young Jefferson, is condemned to death. Treated and referred to as an "old hog", Jefferson insists that he will be dragged like that hog to his death in the electric chair. Concerned, his godmother begs reluctant school teacher, Grant Wiggins, to teach him to die like a man.
As execution day arrives, Wiggins struggles to see the value in what his position requires him to do. He soon learns that he has been selfish in life, however. By the devestating end, both Wiggins and Jefferson are changed by each other's emotional plight.
The New York Times describes "A Lesson Before Dying" as having an, "irresistable momentum and a cathartic explosion...a powerful inevitability." Senior Billy Robinson who plays Jefferson says that: "The story is about an execution, but the beauty of it is that it opens new pathways to life."
First-time actor Robinson is joined on stage by another newbie, junior Matt McClain, who both, says Cutrofello, have “great charisma and are invested in seeing this succeed.” Other new actors include sophomore Oneisha Clark (aunt) and junior Josh Singleton (reverend). The cast is anchored by veterans of the Highlander Theater Company, senior Kristen Scheuermann, sophomore Hayden Hall and junior Jeff Zoldy.
Ran October 2012
|Pictured L-R are Matt McClain, Billy Robinson, Kristen Scheuermann and Josh Singleton.|
With a dash of elaborate costuming, a cut of the French guillotine, and many musical notes, Chase Collegiate School’s Highlander Theater Company presented the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel! Cast
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a modern musical set in historic times. It is an action/adventure show based on the famous novel of the French Revolution. The musical features the battle for liberty, equality, and fraternity. The book and lyrics by Nan Knighton are at times funny and at others horrifying. Frank Wildhorn’s (Jekyll and Hyde) music is moving and passionate.
While the show is a terrific way to investigate French and British histories, it is also a love story, a comedy of mismatched heroes, and a suspenseful story of a power hungry leader. These attributes make it a perfect musical for young people, for it brings the thematic undercurrents of sacrifice, deception, and loyalty to the stage. With its rich historical detail and sweeping score, The Scarlet Pimpernel opens the door to American musical theatre traditions.
The plot is quickly paced. The curtain rises on a performance at the Comédie Francaise. Marguerite St. Just is singing (Storybook) while her fiancé, Sir Percival Blakeney, and Citizen Chauvelin look on. After the number ends Marguerite announces her engagement to Sir Percy, and then Chauvelin declares that the theatre is to be shut down immediately. There is an exchange between Chauvelin and Marguerite, and then Marguerite's assistant Marie enters to protest the closing of the theatre. Chauvelin orders his soldiers to take her off to be guillotined but Percy steps in and warns Chauvelin and his soldiers of an angry mob outside. They rush off, allowing Percy, Marguerite and Marie to escape along with Marie's fiancé Phillipe, and Marguerite's brother Armand. And so the adventure begins…
Ran March, 2012
Chase Collegiate Highlander Theater Company presented a rarely seen version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The students will stage an adaption by novelist Oakley Hall III, who was a rising star in the theater world in the 70s until he fell from a bridge and suffered traumatic brain injuries. The accident subsequently changed the course of his life and career—and, in a strange twist, brings his own life in parallel with one of literatures most well-known protagonists, Victor Frankenstein. In the famous novel, Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist who, believing he has found the secret to creating life, builds and animates a monstrous creature. However, upon seeing it alive, Frankenstein is repulsed by his creation and abandons it. But Frankenstein's monster survives on its own and educates itself, soon learning that due to his monstrous appearance, he will never integrate himself into human society. He vows to take his revenge on Doctor Frankenstein, both for abandoning him and for thrusting this miserable, monstrous life upon him in the first place. Poster design by Tom Aviles
In November, 2011, Chase Collegiate’s Highlander Theater Company performed Thorton Wilder’s classic, Our Town. Our Town explores the lives of people living in a small, quintessentially American town. It was first produced in 1938 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.
is Pulitzer Prize finalist David Rimmer's exploration of the effect of the 9/11 on fifteen individuals. Originally written to raise funds for volunteer psychiatrists working with 9/11 trauma, the play does not depict the attacks themselves but rather focuses on the emotional and psychological effect they had on average people. Each of the 15 vignettes tells the tale of survivors and people coping with grief, survivor guilt and restarting lives. New York was performed in October 2011. Poster artwork by Nichloas Arisco '12
Beauty and The Beast
The Chase Collegiate Highlander Theater Company’s annual production featured won the HALO for Best Musical. Beauty and the Beast, Based on the Academy-Award winning animated feature, the stage version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, included all of the original score written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. Join Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, her child Chip, and the rest of this beloved cast in this story of love and redemption. This "tale as old as time" was filled with spectacular costumes and music.
Picasso at the Lapin Agile
By Steve Martin
This sophisticated comedy places a young Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe, Au Lapin Agile, in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism. In his first comedy for the stage, Martin, the popular actor, comedian and screen writer plays fast and loose with fact, fame and fortune as these two geniuses speculate on the coming century's achievements and prospects as well as other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness. The subject matter is daring, providing lots of laughs and moments of enlightenment. Note: The play is recommended for adult audiences due to language. Cast List
(Poster design by Tom Aviles'12)
The Miracle Worker
By William Gibson
This classic tells the story of Annie Sullivan and her student, blind and mute Helen Keller. The Miracle Worker dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge. Trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate, Helen is violent, spoiled, almost sub-human and treated by her family as such. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence. With scenes of intense physical and emotional dynamism, Annie's success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word: "water". Cast List
"Interesting, absorbing and moving."-New York Post
(Poster design by Nick Arisco '12)