Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Freedom High School Wild Oats

By • Oct 25th, 2010 • Category: Cappies

The cast and crew of Freedom High School sowed their Wild Oats with audiences recently when they put on their rendition of Jame’s McLure’s western tale. Filled with twisting plots and tangled relationships, Freedom told a story of compassion and confusion as it could only be found in the Wild West.

Based on the work of the same name by the Irish playwright John O’Keeffe, McLure’s comedy centers around actors Jack Rover and Harry Thunder (Bryan Kress and Patrick Carnes), best friends who have decided to go their separate ways. Jack comes upon Harry’s cousin and arranged fiancee, Kate Thunder (Kaitlyn Vickers), and they immediately fall head over heels in love with each other. Jack, however, believes that he must impersonate Harry to win Kate. When the real Harry appears, everything gets turned upside down as the characters try to sort out this case of mistaken identities.

Vickers was compelling and dynamic as Kate, channeling Shakespeare’s shrew of the same name to turn herself into an unrefined yet romantic madame who kept the show going with the charisma and grace of a western belle. She played well with Kress, creating real chemistry between Jack and Kate that was easy to see onstage as they courted one another.

Tim Lewis was pleasantly devious in the role of the minister Ephraim Smooth. Wonderfully sleazy, he made himself more and more hated with every cunning sideways glance and devilish aside to the audience. Aaron “Russ” Starkey’s believable and endearing obliviousness and naivete as Sim Gammon brought a steady stream of laughs, providing humor even in his squeaky vocalization. Katie Graves and Jessica Salazar appeared to be two parts of the same person as the mad scientists Ms. Kilegle and Ms. Leako, exchanging banter tit for tat with impeccable give and take.

The energy of the show did lag at times, causing parts of the complicated plot to become lost or confused. Actors had difficulties maintaining accents and did trip over lines in places, but the members of the cast made up for this fact with their commitment to their parts.

Set changes were made quickly and efficiently, helping to keep the pace of the show moving forward. Lighting helped transition the show as well, although the use of spotlights was uneven and distracting at times.

Ultimately, the players at Freedom put on a show worthy of the Old West. With a large and capable cast and gags galore, the real wild oats that the play sowed were the laughs that the audience left with.

by Chris Papas of Oakton High School

Photo Gallery

Monica Thappa and Bryan Mass Kaitlyn Vickers
Monica Thappa and Bryan Mass
Kaitlyn Vickers

Photos by Nathan McGraw.

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