Georgetown Preparatory School The OutsidersBy Cappies • Dec 5th, 2012 • Category: Cappies
Differences cause conflict. Whether it is race, social class, education, or political affiliation, people have the habit of using their differences as a catalyst for conflict. Differences in social class and lifestyle are what is focused on in Christopher Sergel’s stage adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, which was performed this weekend at Georgetown Preparatory School.
The Outsiders is the story of Ponyboy (Daniel Walsh), a bookish, quiet “greaser” who lives with his two brothers, Darry (Tommy Gambon) and Soda Pop (Steven Balla) in their small home. Ponyboy and the other greasers live under the constant threat of the “socs” (short for socials), the rich kids who live on the other side of town. The greasers and the socs have a never-ending rivalry that constantly results in broken bones and bloody noses on both sides, but when a fight over a soc girl nicknamed Cherry (Kayla Dixon) leaves her boyfriend Bob (Alex Lange) dead and his blood on the hands of greaser Johnny (Matt Schuler), Ponyboy and Johnny are forced to flee their home and the police, and seek refuge in an abandoned church. Assisted by their friend Dallas (Colin Larsen), Ponyboy and Johnny are able to survive in the church for a few days before a fire breaks out and leaves Johnny mortally wounded. He dies in the hospital soon afterward, leaving his friends questioning the point of their constant tension with the socs. Johnny’s death brings some of the socs and greasers closer together, and helps them realize that maybe they aren’t so different after all.
Daniel Walsh (Ponyboy) conveyed the emotions of his character well. Both his appearance and demeanor matched the character of Ponyboy, and his interactions and relationships with other characters in the production improved with each new scene. He dealt well with a script that was at times confusing and to the best of his ability maneuvered between his narration and dialogue well.
Matt Schuler played an excellent Johnny. His portrayal of the fear Johnny felt towards the socs and of his transition in character from beginning to end was very apparent. Several other actors also displayed the intense dynamics of relationships and emotions, including Colin Larsen (Dallas), Darry (Tommy Gambon), Marcia (Emily Cochrane), and Two-bit (Tyler Daley). Although at times the emotions were skewed, each of these actors’ overall performances proved their abilities to connect to their characters.
Especially impressive was Kayla Dixon in the role of Sherry “Cherry” Valance. Her performance was multi-dimensional and unfaltering. She captured the essence of Cherry through every hand motion, facial expression, and inflection of voice, and brought energy to the performance whenever it was lacking. She accommodated occasional falters in lighting or sound quickly and with grace.
The show’s set was phenomenal. Chain link fences, wooden benches, a shabby shack and a dazzling (although occasionally distracting) star-lit backdrop brought the scenes to life and helped convey the lifestyles of the greasers and specifically of Ponyboy and Johnny. Especially impressive was the stage floor, which was covered in a carpet of real grass and fallen leaves, and added an extra dimension to the scene dynamics.
Overall, the Prep Players performed very well in their production of The Outsiders, and adequately conveyed the themes of the original novel.
by Sarah Kinney of Thomas S. Wootton High School
Photos by John Walsh
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