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Hayfield Secondary School Damn Yankees

By • May 6th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

Some things in life are given. For everything else, there’s Satan. Hayfield Secondary School proved this fact with their boisterous production of Damn Yankees, recounting the story of an elderly baseball fan with visions of grandeur. With a determination to defeat the Yankees once and for all, Joe Boyd (Chris Frakes) strikes a deal with the Devil a smooth-talking, chic businessman by the name of Mr. Applegate (Robbie Mack). Things become complicated with Joe realizes that he will have to leave his beloved wife, Meg, (Aubrey Meeks) in exchange for a new youthful appearance (Mark Rascati). Joe soon builds a fanbase with his new persona, joining the Washington Senators in an attempt to simultaneously bring his beloved team to stardom and defeat the Yankees. However, this fame comes with a price, and Applegate, with the help of mystical seductress Lola (Kate Drakeley), continually attempts to fool Joe into breaking his original pact. However, Joe’s inherent goodness manages to persuade even the most menacing of demons, and demonstrates that, in order to succeed, you’ve “got to have heart.”

Fantastic secondary roles brought this production to new heights, including the roles of Sister Miller (Sarah Congress) and Doris Miller (ArDonna Hamilton). By demonstrating a strong grasp of character progression and an exceptional adherence to script development, both actresses managed to make very different characters out of relatively similar individuals. Additionally, Meg Boyd (Aubrey Meeks) lifted the show to new levels, singing beautifully and remaining in character whenever on stage. Lynch, a reporter (Rachel Brisson), demonstrated considerable stage presence and dedication. Though the production had slower moments, the secondary characters brought the show itself up to pace.

Unique lighting designs by Connie Chee, Robert Shropshire and Kate Drakeley established the sultry tone of Damn Yankees, painting a familiar world with a colorful twist. Props by Mary Ellen Martelli created the fast-paced baseball universe that the production so heavily relied upon. Kayleigh Randall, Conler Mandt, Joey Halse and Katelyn Thomas managed to provide comic relief as a stage crew, bringing new depth to an unexpected role with postures and stage movements.

Though collaborative ensemble work, Damn Yankees proved that, even in the best of circumstances, dealings with the underworld will never achieve morality. Through excellent characterization, the cast as a whole created distinct personalities with a unique dedication to the creation of the individual. Essentially, Damn Yankees proved to be so much more than a story of “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO.”

by Allyson Foreman of Thomas A. Edison

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