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Theatrical students at CHS are prepared to put on 3 different shows in the span of less than a month

DAVID F. ASHTON - Gathering after forgetting the birthday of Lenny (played by Sarah Jones), sisters Babe (Oz Johnson-Congleton) and Meg (Ally Schade) reveal their Crimes of Passion to one another, as they browse through an old family photo album. Students involved in Cleveland High School's (CHS) "Company of Warriors" theater program have not one, but three plays in production, simultaneously – all opening in late October and November.

That's what CHS Theater Instructor Tom Beckett told THE BEE in his role as Executive Producer, watching two of the plays being rehearsed in mid-October.

"I'm not directing any of them; all three productions are being directed by students who demonstrated that they had solid projects," Beckett said. "My vision here is to give kids the tools to produce their own works."

Seven of last year's seniors went on to higher education theater programs, Beckett remarked with pride; one of them received a "full ride" scholarship to Lewis and Clark College.

"Blood Wedding" opens October 27

On the CHS Main Stage, student actors were rehearsing scenes from a show called "Blood Wedding", directed by senior Amelia Hillery.

"The play is a tragedy, focusing on a woman and the two men who love her," Hillery said, "and examine societal norms that keep her from being with the man she truly loves.

"When I was a sophomore, this was one of the plays we studied," Hillery recalled. "Now, in my senior year, it hadn't yet been presented, and I wanted this opportunity for people to see it."

"Blood Wedding" plays on the CHS Main Stage on the evenings of November 27 and 28, and again on November 3 and November 4. Tickets available at the door: $10 Adults, $8 for Seniors and Students.

"Crimes of the Heart" starts November 10

Student actors and their technical crew will mount a production of "Crimes of the Heart" off campus, in the Shoe Box Theater, in November.

The tragicomedy relates the story of the three sisters who reunite at Old Granddaddy's home, where they share stories about being raised in a dysfunctional family – one with a proclivity for thorny dilemmas – said one of the co-directors, McKenzie Potter-Moen.

"We chose this play because the connections between the family members really stood out to us," remarked co-director Ella DeVito. "You really see sisters bonding together, and the strong family dynamics in this play."

"Crimes of the Heart" plays on the evenings of November 10, 11, and 12 at the Shoe Box Theater in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, at 2110 S.E. 10th Avenue. Tickets are $10, available at the door.

Also in November: "God of Carnage"

Not rehearsing on the day THE BEE visited, but playing in November, is the play, "God of Carnage".

"It is about two sets of parents, one whose child has hurt the other's child at a public park, and who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner – but it descends in into another 'playground fight'," Becket explained.

Co-directed by Julia Rehmann and Eelana Kertzner, "God of Carnage" plays in the CHS Black Box Theater on the evenings of November 17 and 18 – $10 Adults; $8 Students and Seniors, available at the door.

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