MHS Drama to bring live stage performances into homes
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield High School Drama Club will bring live stage performances inside the home, as they present four 40-minute, one-act plays on stage without the presence of a live audience.
The plays will be offered through online streaming Nov. 13-14, with each performance presented by a two-person production crew and featuring three to five performers.
Senior Anna Weis, who has been performing since kindergarten, plays two characters in “Shady Meadows.”
“Primarily, I play the role of Macie Clott. She is married to Garson Clott played by Clinton Tompkins. Macie is a sweet middle-aged neighbor to Melanie and Neil (Makenna Yeske and Mason Peckham),” Weis said.
“The Shady Meadows housing development along with the vast amount of chemicals used for the clearing of animals from the area has gotten into the Clotts’ systems and affected Macie’s ability to reproduce along with basic bodily functions. She is quite oblivious to what is happening inside her body and outside their housing development.
“I also play the role of Gwen. Gwen works for Chem for Life to treat mold infestations. She’s a rugged blue collar worker who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty.”
Senior Ben Salzwedel has been acting since his freshman year
“I started with Anything Goes as a sailor and passenger, and every day, I wish I started sooner,” he said. “Music and drama have always intrigued me, and for me to become a part of it? It was unimaginable, but it filled in a piece of the puzzle that is me.”
Salzwedel plays Cal in the Horror Movie 101 – vignette “Girl on the Side of the Road.”
“My character, Cal, is very compassionate and cares for others, no matter who they are. Or so it seems. As the story goes on, he reveals his dark past, and with this revelation, he himself starts to noticeably twist,” he explained.
Anna and Ben both say the new means of presentation has brought about some interesting challenges.
“Everyone on stage will be wearing a mask which is the main difference from previous years. Cast and crew have been reduced tremendously in numbers to maintain safety during this pandemic,” Weis explained.
“Acting with masks presents difficulties. Expression becomes difficult when only half of our face is showing and pronunciation is so much more important. Also, in order for the audience to pick out who is speaking, we need to use actions that provide clues as to who is talking since our mouths can’t be seen. All these accommodations are well worth it thought to be able to bring entertainment and positivity to the community.
“Not only are we wearing face masks, these are one act plays,” Salzwedel added. “Combine the limited time with others with a scene where you have over a third of the lines. Not only that, but you have to memorize everything within a matter of weeks. That brings the difficulty of theatre to a new level, but it’s truly worth it. Even with recent events, acting still shows humanity more than anything, as it has throughout history.”
For tickets to the Nov. 13-14 livestream performances, visit showtix4u.com. Information will be provided on accessing the performance at purchase.