Whether it was missing rehearsals from the snow and ice storms or having to build their sets off site, the Farmington High School spring play finally opened Thursday with a production of “Splendor in the Grass.” It will continue through Saturday.
“The weather has caused us to cancel several rehearsals, including the one last Monday during tech week,” said Kevin Marler. “We had to build the set at Truman Elementary and then transport it over to the Centene. Lucas Pogue, Jake Clark, Jacob Pogue, Jamie Light and Ashlynne Roberts and the rest of the construction crew have done a great job getting things together.”
The play, based on the 1962 Academy Award winning movie starring Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood, opened Thursday evening at the Centene Center and runs through Saturday.
The story revolves around high school seniors including Bud Stamper, the captain of the football team, played by Mark McEntire, and Deanie Loomis, the sensitive soul, played by Gracie Minnis, in 1928 Kansas. Both face the pressure of two young people in love.
Bud wants to take the relationship past kissing but is afraid it will give the love of his life a reputation and Deanie will do anything to hold on to Bud’s love regardless of the consequences. All the while, the two are trying to do the right thing but the frustration of young love may be too much for them.
The two also face the pressure from their parents who have their own expectations for their children. Ace Stamper, played by Adam Womack, is Bud’s father, an overbearing oil baron who believes his perfect son should attend Yale University even though it does not fit into Bud’s plans. Mrs. Loomis, played by Emily Goodson, is the mother who is more concerned about money and position than her own daughter’s well-being.
“This group of kids I have now really saw the merit of it and wanted to do it.’ said Kevin Marler. “I have probably pulled this play out three or four times, but thought it was too old or outdated for my students, but it deals with some of the same social issues of today.”
For many of the other young actors it was that maturity that drew them to be in the spring production.
“I didn’t think the issues were relevant until I got into the show,” said Katie Stuart, who is playing Ginny Stamper. “But then we did the research on the script and really liked the maturity and the reoccurring themes of trying to fit in peer pressure.”
“People mention these issues to teenagers all the time,” said Minnis. “Before the show, I wouldn’t have believed them. But now we are living it through our characters and we can see it.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Due to the boys basketball team advancing in playoff action, Saturday’s play has been moved forward to 4 p.m. The doors will open at 3:30 p.m.
General admission tickets are $5 each.