An event that all theater fans get excited for in the beginning of the school year is the middle school fall play, especially one as engaging as this year’s “Wagon Wheels A-Rollin’.” The middle school show is always family friendly, and many people in the Wesleyan community rushed to get tickets. Like years before, Lencke Theatre sold out of seats for this show. “Wagon Wheels A-Rollin’” was an exciting and action-packed story about life in the wild western town of Vinegar Bottle. The cast consisted of a wide variety of characters, including cowboys, saloon girls and bandits. The play was directed by the middle school theater director Stephanie Simmons.
Simmons chose this show because it was unlike any show that had been done in the past. She said, “We’ve never done anything western, so when I was looking for scripts, I was looking for something that took place in the wild west and had elements of melodrama to it.” This challenged the actors to use a “big acting style”. One of the scenes contains a shootout, and one of the biggest challenges they faced while practicing and performing was the use of guns on stage. The cast discussed the similarities and differences between their characters’ lives compared to their own. Simmons said, “The culture was very different back then, and that’s how they lived. Heroes and villains had shoot outs and we tried to replicate what the west was like.”
An actor in the show, fifth grader Alana Carroll, had the role of Dulcy, one of the characters on the wagon train. Carroll said, “Dulcy was on a wagon train with her cousin Candy. What happens is their wagon breaks down, so they have to stop in a town called Vinegar Bottle.” Later in the show, Dulcy informs her friends that the wagon was robbed by bandits who are caught by the end of the play with her help. Carroll has been doing theater since she was 3-years-old, and she enjoyed participating in the show.
The middle school’s fall show may be over, but there is more fall theater yet to come. The high school fall play, “10 Ways to Survive the End of the World” and “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse,” consists of two one act comedies. “10 Ways to Survive the End of the World” is directed by the high school theater director Steven Broyles, and “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse” is directed by senior Adam Rogers.
Sophomore Sarah Lim is a member of the “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse” cast. Lim enjoys theater and has been participating in Wesleyan shows since her fifth grade year when she was in the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Lim is a narrator in the show and when asked about her role, she said, “The zombies are taking over the world, and it is my job to propose methods of survival to the audience!” The high school’s fall show is coming to Powell Theater stage on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., and there will also be performances on Oct. 25 and 26. Make sure to get tickets for the show that Lim called “a hilariously satirical comedy that you will enjoy from the opening to the closing of the curtain!”