Hampton students stage a futuristic drama for the high school's fall play
“The Giver” takes a dramatic look at a utopian future, and is this year's fall play presented by the Hampton High School Theater Department.
The play is on stage Nov. 9, 10 and 11. Doors open at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the high school, 2929 McCully Road, and the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door and cost $5 with a student identification and $8 for adults, according to the Hampton Township School District website.
The Hampton Drama Club members handle the direction, production and design of the fall play, according to Dan Franklin, adviser to the club and fine arts and theater instructor at the high school.
The student directors, Caroline Collins and Tyler Anderson, both 17 and seniors, were selected after last year's fall production and thus were in charge of picking this year's play. Collins said once they read the script, it was apparent it was perfect for the school.
“I feel like this show has so many layers to it and is for every age group,” said Collins, who has performed in numerous high school theater productions. “The show keeps me captivated the entire time and I think the audience will be, too.”
“The Giver” is based on a book by Lois Lowry with a stage adaptation by Eric Coble, and centers around lead character Jonas, played by Allison Crouch, who lives in a utopian-like society where all pain, fear, war and hatred have been eliminated, according to the school district website.
Anderson, who has starred in Hampton's plays and musicals throughout his high school career, said the transition from actor to director was a learning experience.
“It's definitely different because I learned a lot about myself as an actor by being a director,” said Anderson. “Directing is different because you have to think of the production as a whole.”
Franklin said practically every aspect of the play is student-led, from costume to set design, sound and technical design, choreography and more. He handles budgeting and few other areas. But he said the level of the responsibility given to the students is unique.
“I feel they're definitely getting an experience no other students are going to get at this level of immersion. It's a huge undertaking,” said Franklin.
Anderson said the talent of the crew and the 25-member cast helped “everything that we imagined come to life.”
Ticket sales for this play will go toward funding next year's fall play, said Franklin, who is readying production for the school's upcoming spring musical, “Nice Work if You Can Get It.”
Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.