Comedy Returns to Stage

White Oak Theatre program plans to perform comedy play

by: Addison Milligan

The White Oak Theater Department will perform a recreation of the comedy “The Curious Savage'' in the auditorium for their fall play on November 10, 11 and 12.

“We got a little bit of a late start because our scripts came in late, but we are working on making up for that,” Rick Higginbotham said. “Laughter and joy from the audience are some of the things I hope to get out of the audience since “The Curious Savage” is a comedy. It has some very human and emotional moments in it, but if the audience leaves with smiles and happy thoughts, then we have done our job.”

Higginbotham, his cast and his crew have been rehearsing diligently almost every day after school to perfect the performance of the play almost every day after school. From collecting props and adjusting lights to learning lines and altering character placement, “The Curious Savage” is finally startring to come together. 

“One of the biggest challenges I have faced is putting all of the theatrical elements together in a way that creates the best storytelling,” Higginbotham said. “Just like any other artistic project, you have a vision of how you want things to look, and you work tirelessly to reach it. You have to face challenges head-on. If you don’t, who will?”

Senior Carley King, the actress playing Florence Williams and a part of the crew, has been in the theater program since she was a freshman. King has enjoyed playing older characters like Anne Hathaway Shakespeare in “The Book of Will,” but Florence Williams is a younger character. King is excited about this change and is looking forward to showing off her hard work. 

“Since we are early on into the process of creating this play, I am just focusing on getting my lines down, and I'll go from there,” King said. “It has been difficult to get into the character of Florence because I can’t relate to her whatsoever. Not only am I playing someone who is literally mentally insane, but I also can’t relate to her through the aspect of what she is going through.”

Senior Bailey Brondum is playing Jeff Meredith, a man suffering from PTSD after he fought in World War II. Brondum has won many awards for his acting performance in many previous plays with White Oak. People are excited to see him perform again. 

“This role is helping me grow as an actor because it is a real juxtaposition to the roles I’ve played recently,” Brondum said. “I think this play will be different from last year’s fall play [“Dearly Departed”] because this year’s characters are much more grounded, which is ironic because they are in a mental institution, and the characters from last year weren’t.” 

While the actors are the ones who entertain the audience, the crew works just as hard to make sure the play runs smoothly. The crew includes people working in the sound booth, with costumes, props and any effects needed to make the play come to life. Ta’Shayla McDonald, a member of the crew, will be helping with the props.

“Sometimes it can get hard to know what an actor needs what and where everything needs to go, but it is all part of the process,”  McDonald said. “Just being a part of the play is a way I can get myself out there and express myself. I am a naturally shy person, so I am using theater as a way to break out of my shell.”