MHS Fall Play to be held in November

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News
The Montevideo School's fall play, Harvey, will have two showings in November.

The Montevideo School’s theater department is gearing up for their Fall Play after having to scramble for a location. Because the Fine Arts Center building is now closed for use due to concerns over the state of the building causing health issues, the theater department has been left looking for venues that can accommodate set changes, as well as an audience. The Fall play was originally to be held in the Hollywood Theater, and so Director Dan Hampton searched for a play that wouldn’t involve a lot of set changes, as backstage space at the Hollywood is limited. A little over a week ago, Hampton was notified that The Hollywood was double-booked, and so the director went in search of a new location. “We really had to do some serious punting. There’s not a lot of places in Montevideo we could do the show, so we are doing the show in the basement of the Montevideo Trinity Church,” Hampton says. “We’re going to have to set up chairs and all of that. We’re making it work. I think the kids are doing a good job with what they’re doing. It’s just unfortunate we don’t have a good facility to be using to really showcase them.”

The High School students began practicing around mid-September for the play, titled Harvey. “Because we were going to do it at the Hollywood, I picked a show without a lot of sets, or a lot of props for scene changes because we were already going to have to be pretty portable, hauling everything in and out. So, to move to Trinity wasn’t any great hardship because we already were so portable,” says Hampton. The play centers on a main character who believes his best friend is an invisible six-foot rabbit that follows him around. “Nobody else can see him, supposedly, and eventually some people do. It’s embarrassing to his family that he introduces people to this rabbit nobody can see and they think he’s gone insane. They try to get him committed, and in the end, they don’t. It’s a lot of nonsense and fun, and it’s definitely a comedy throughout,” says Hampton. The play is from an older script that at one point was adapted for film in a movie starring Jimmy Stewart.

Tickets are on sale and are at a cost of $7 for adults and $5 for students and children. Hampton’s co-director is Hanna Maloney, an English Teacher new this year at the High School. The cast consists of twelve student actors and a handful of backstage assistants. There will be two shows, one on Friday, November 12th, and one Saturday, November 13th, both at 7 p.m. “I’m super happy with the job they’re doing. The actors are really stepping up, I think. It’s such a fun show that’s great for the whole family and we just hope a lot of people show up,” says Hampton.

As for future productions from the theater department, Hampton says there are plans to put together a Middle School Musical this year for students grades 5-8. “We’re not sure of the location. It’ll probably be in the middle school gym. It’s a little bit of a dilemma to figure out where to do these large-scale productions without going out of town to do them in somebody else’s auditorium, but we’ve committed to trying to make it happen however it happens,” Hampton says. Hampton also says it is likely One Act Play will happen again this year, as they managed to function without the Fine Arts Center last year while practicing at The Hollywood and competing out of town.