What happens when a wealthy widow fakes her death in order to determine the most worthy heir? A comedic drama of course! This year’s fall play at West Central was co-written by senior student, Natalie Kennedy, who proposed the original concept, and co-director, Rebecca Reed. Natalie stars as the wealthy widow, Ms. Lillian, who takes in orphaned teen, Brooke, as a companion and servant.
When Ms. Lillian’s family gathers in the huge family mansion for her eighty-fourth birthday, they have no idea the surprises that await them. Oldest son, Charles, is too busy with his business deals to get off his phone. His wife, middle-aged pageant professional, Francie, and daughter, Instagram junkie, Bernadette, have a rather adversarial relationship.
Middle daughter, Clarice , is more worried about the welfare of her poodle, Precious, than the lives of her prodigy twins, Amy and Jamie. But what of Henry, the youngest son, disinherited when he refused to marry the woman his parents chose for him?
Add Godson, William, Ms. Lillian’s lawyer, Scrimfeldt , long-time maid, Kennedy, and homeless vagrant, Myrtle Beach, to the mix and you have the ingredients for a farce that will carry you on an emotional roller-coaster from its scheming beginning through its poignant resolution.
This play was performed last weekend at West Central High School, the school where I teach. I wanted to share it with you, because the cast and crew were so fabulous. I absolutely appreciate my fantastic co-director, Miss Hillary Durie, and her organization and efforts with shirts, advertising, attendance and all the mundane, but extremely necessary parts of producing a play.
She also handles most of the set decoration, costuming and prop needs. By doing all of that, she allows me the freedom to work with the cast. I enjoy helping the actors to understand and begin to think like their characters. Working on blocking, diction, and gestures is so much fun. And seeing it all come together last weekend with three fabulous performances, makes it all worthwhile.
Writing the play with the only senior member of the cast was a wonderful experience. Natalie and I spent over two hours at a local coffee shop brainstorming and designing characters, a plot summary and scenes. The premise of the wealthy widow faking her death was her idea. Much of the rest came from playing the “what if” game. In the end we wanted to leave the audience with the take away that family should never be sacrificed for wealth, position, or money because it is the one thing that can’t be replaced.
So enjoy the photos and help me applaud this year’s cast for another year of fine drama at WC.