Cedarcrest Middle School’s drama program brought the royal comedy ‘The Bachelor King’ to life on Nov. 14 to 16.
The play is the first ‘true comedy’ that the school has performed, said director Darren Oke.
“This is a pretty crazy story about a hillbilly who accidentally becomes king and the palace staff who tries to make him competent while searching for a wife for him,” said Oke.
“They end up having a reality TV show competition, much like ‘The Bachelor,’ to find him a bride,” he said.
Students had a number of colorful roles as part of the performance.
“There’s a lot of fun personalities and a lot of different sorts of characters,” said Oke.
Yokel, played by student Leif Winter, is a fool who ascends to the throne and is the main character of the play.
“He has no idea about what’s going on at all and is clueless about the big world,” said Winter.
Student Christopher Ross plays Frederick Pilfer, the king’s corrupt advisor.
“My character is very deceiving, persuasive and an evil figure. His only goal is to steal all the money available,” said Ross.
Ross said he enjoyed playing such a dynamic, antagonist role.
“In reality I’m not a bad person, but his persuasiveness and his comedic manner is a lot like my way of approaching situations,” he said.
This is the fourth year that Cedarcrest Middle School has had a drama program and they have performed eight plays so far.
“The drama program has grown and become something that lots and lots of kids have wanted to be a part of, as well as their parents,” said Oke.
“I feel like we can handle bigger shows now and get more kids involved,” he said.
Oke said it provides a lot of opportunities for the students.
“It gives kids that might not otherwise find an activity or a group a chance to participate in something where they can let go of other concerns and step out of their comfort zone,” he said.
Student Jimmy Faria, who plays King Evian, said he enjoys being a part of the program.
“It builds a community and a family. You make a lot of friends. With the production it is really fun to act, but a lot of fun is also just getting to meet new people,” he said.
Although sometimes it does get emotional when your peers eventually move on to high school.
“Last year in the musical we had a lot of different people who had been in the program a long time leave and it was a lot of tears,” said Faria.
Winter said he enjoyed just being able to act as different characters.
“You can really act how you want to act. If you act weird in reality people might look at you weird. It’s great fun to do what you want and make friends,” he said.
Ross encourages people to support local theater.
“Go see community plays. You may think ‘no, plays, those aren’t for me,’ and I used to think that too. But when I first saw a play I thought ‘I dig this.’” he said.
“It’s like the reality you want but can’t have,” said Winter.