On Nov. 17 and 18, the Cedaredge High School Theatre Department performed its fall production of "The Love of Three Oranges," a modern adaptation of an Italian fairytale originating in 1761. The comedy incorporated elements new to the CHS Theatre Department, including more sound effects, pyrotechnics, and blocking that moved actors to all corners of the auditorium.
Director Nick Parsons said preparations for the show began with his decision on a script in early August, with casting and rehearsals starting at the beginning of the school year. Students split into teams to build the set, create costumes, and obtain props in addition to their roles either as actors or stage crew members.
"It's really cool to see kids that I've had since freshman year start off as Tree #2 and by the end, they're Fata Morgana, the evil enchantress," he says.
Olivia McCrackin, senior, plays Fata Morgana in the play and has been a member of CHS Theatre since her freshman year. "Developing your character happens right up until the night of the show," she says, "You never stop. Your character just becomes better and better, and you have to do your best to become them."
Wyatt Camp, who plays the lead role of Prince Tartaglia, agrees that character development poses a rewarding challenge throughout the production process. "My part was weird in that I essentially had to switch my character. I went from whiny and weak to the loud and obnoxious hero, which was an interesting change," he says, "I learned to more easily deal with people, and in turn, examine my own mannerisms."
The show incorporated new entertainment elements, including having actors chase each other through the auditorium, interacting with the audience, and even setting off fireworks on stage at multiple points throughout the story.
McCrackin says that after nearly four years in the theatre program, "The Love of Three Oranges" tops her list of favorites. "This is probably the best show I've ever been in," she says.
"They're up there captivating their audience," Parsons says, "With their ability to read a crowd and get their lines down ... I've really seen them grow."