2013-06-07 / Front Page

Play delay doesn’t get anyone down

By Jack Flagler
Staff Writer

CAPE ELIZABETH – Cape Elizabeth High School’s spring theatrical production, a satire written and codirected by members of the graduating class of 2013, will be presented to an audience of seniors, juniors, families and graduates on Friday, June 7 at the high school auditorium, eight days after its originally scheduled performance.

The show, titled “The Year of X,” was originally scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31, but Principal Jeffrey Shedd said a few small script changes needed to be made before a public viewing.

Shedd wrote in an email Tuesday, “There have been extremely minor mutually agreeable tweaks to the latest script and some new elements to frame the satire in terms of what it is and what it is not.”

He did not say what material was cut out of the play or explain why the minor adjustments necessitated the delay in the opening of the production.

Signs were posted on the doors to high school Thursday, May 30, with a message that said, “Sorry, No Show Tonight.” However, inside, posters advertising the show were still displayed outside the locked doors of the auditorium.

A few individuals who had come to see the show Thursday walked through the halls, unaware the production had been delayed.

Cape Elizabeth High School Theater Director Richard Mullen said in a statement on the town’s website posted Tuesday, May 21, the show is “witty, daring, perceptive – and in the tradition of laughing at ourselves.”

“Cape moms, teachers, students, police – all are fair game in this clever take on our year at CEHS,” his statement continued.

There was a performance of the play Thursday for Shedd and a small group of high school staff. Two days later, on Saturday, June 1, the play was shown to parents of the performers.

Shedd wrote in an email the changes to the play were a collaborative effort between himself, Mullen and two Cape Elizabeth High School seniors, Ian Andolsek and Sam Barksdale, who served as the principal writers and co-directors of the show.

Barksdale said in a phone interview Monday the delay was a challenge, but he is pleased with the end result.

“It was super stressful, but at least we got the performance we deserved. We’ll get everyone to come to that. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun,” Barksdale said.

Barksdale said Monday the performance for the parents over the weekend was hugely successful, and the performance for the public will be nearly unchanged from the one for parents. He is looking forward to bringing the satire to a larger audience.

“All the parents loved it. That said something about the play. It’s not all about student humor. It’s accessible to everybody,” he said.

The exclusion of freshmen and sophomores from the audience for the upcoming show has nothing to do with censorship, according to Barksdale. He said the issue is simply with the space in the auditorium and the fact that the older high school students will better understand the humor.

Andolsek said there will already likely be a need to bring extra chairs into the 500-seat space.

“It’s not because we don’t want them there, it’s only because it’s going to be crowded,” Barksdale said.

Mullen said he is expecting a full house for the upcoming performance after Saturday’s show for parents “went brilliantly,” but did not explain why the collaborative effort to tweak the script caused the show’s delay.

“There’s the potential here for a lot of sensationalism and fanning fires, I’m not going to be a part of any of that,” Mullen said.

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