Molalla High School drama presents the Neil Simon comedy, opening May 1

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Dustan Ramsey, Kaila Nichols-Howell, Alarik Nordell, Jacob Norgren and Briana Raymond  
i rehearsals Thursday for Rumors, a Neil Simon comedy produced by Molalla High School drama. The play opens May 1.At a large, tastefully appointed townhouse, the deputy mayor of New York has just shot himself. Although it’s only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce.

The deputy mayor lies bleeding in his bed room and his wife is nowhere to be found while friends gather in their living room for their 10th wedding anniversary party. His lawyer Ken Gorman and wife Chris Gorman must get "the story" straight before other guests start arriving. As confusion mounts, the evening spins off into classic Neil Simon hilarity.

Directed by: Hayley Zeal, the Molalla High School drama production, Rumors, opens May 1.

Alarik Nordell, who plays Ken Gorman, said he has really enjoyed acting in a Neil Simon play. “This is one of my favorite productions,” Nordell said. “And looking back at all the progress that’s been made since we started in March, we will be ready opening night.”

The part of Chris Gorman is played by Jennifer Paulsen.

“I am playing the role of a woman who is freaked all the time,” Paulsen said. “She is good friends With Claire Ganz, but I don’t like her husband much.

“I study my lines at home by yelling alone in my room like a crazy person, which my character can be.”

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Chris Loughridge, Alarik Nordell, Jennifer Paulsen and Brittainy Mather, four of the lead characters, rehearse their lines Thursday at Molalla High School.Cast members learn early that fitting rehearsals and the time spent memorizing lines can squeeze out time for other activities before opening night. “We have a lot to do, getting our homework done on top of learning our lines for the play, but it’s a matter of learning to balance our lives,” Paulsen said.

Chris Loughridge, who plays Lenny Ganz likes being in the footlights, but said he has especially enjoyed doing this play.

“I really enjoy entertaining the audience,” Loughridge said. “I enjoy being on stage.

Lenny is a judgmental guy and is annoyed at a lot of people, but his wife is too. That’s how we get along, by our hatred of the others. He’s pretty gossipy too.”

Brittainy Mather said the troup started rehearsals in March. “I’ve been in theatre since I was a freshman,” she said. “I like being in theater because it expands our imagination, playing a role lets us forget all the reality -- I love theater. I’d marry it if I could. Theater is our best release on a bad day.”

American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, widely regarded as one of the most successful and prolific and playwrights in the world, has received more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Lost In Yonkers, Emmy Awards for The Sid Caesar Show and The Phil Silvers Show, Tony Awards for The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, Lost In Yonkers and a special Tony Award For Overall Contribution To The Theatre.

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