santa cruz theater
December 2019

Forget Broadway, Catch Some School Plays

By Brad Kava

We used to think that you had to handicap school plays, measure them on a different standard, then, say, something you would see in a professional theater. These are just students, after all.

Well, two plays we caught last month in Aptos changed our minds about that. When we saw “Carrie” at Cabrillo College, all through the play we assumed it was done by the professionals at Cabrillo Stage.

santa cruz theater
Camrynn Ford as Dora Bailey in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Not so. Most of the actors were students, and we only found that out at the end.

It was as tight and well performed as anything we’ve seen in big theaters for much higher prices. 

Even more surprising was Aptos High’s “Singin’ in the Rain.” Students aren’t supposed to tap dance and sing this well. High school stage sets are supposed to look like they were done in a shoddy art room. Nope. There are supposed to be forgotten lines and missed cues. 

Nope. This came off as well as anything we’ve seen on any stage, anywhere.  We are firm believers in the idea that drama departments are as important as athletics, although sometimes it’s hard to believe that from the way those things are treated in all schools. 

Kudos to all the students and the directors, musicians, stage hands and artists who made these shows so professional.

Calvin Nigh Aptos High’s “Singin’ in the Rain”
Calvin Nigh as Don Lockwood in “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Parise Zeleny Aptos High’s “Singin’ in the Rain
Parise Zeleny as Kathy Selden in “Singin’ in the Rain.”
aptos Carrie Cabrillo
Marina Louise as Carrie, a show that teaches an important lesson about bullying and was more tragic than the horror movie.
aptos Carrie
Lizz Hodgin Weihrauch as Carrie’s mother, in a back stage shot.

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