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Centreville High Presents 7-Play Dramapalooza

Get ready for Dramapalooza. Centreville High's Theater Department is holding its annual, one-act play festival, Feb. 23-25 in the school theater.

Seven plays will be presented; one is student-written and all seven are student-directed.

The play bill is as follows: Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. — "New Girl," "Eat Like a Child," "Black Comedy" and "This Is a Test." Friday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. — "Personal Effects," "Canned Hamlet" and "Hard Candy." Saturday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. — All seven plays.

Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door for the Thursday and Friday shows, and $5 in advance and $7 at the door for Saturday's performances. Pizza will be sold on Saturday night.

"Over 70 students tried out for the one-acts, and every student was offered a role," said Technical Director Mike Hudson, who's overseeing the whole shebang. "The directors will be showcasing their knowledge of material and people, while the actors will take advantage of the tremendous number of roles to expand their acting horizons."

The casts have been rehearsing for the past five weeks, and Hudson is pleased with how well things are coming together.

"The directors were responsible for choosing, planning and blocking, as well as securing show rights, props and costumes. In short, they directed and produced each play. The only things provided to them were the venue and basic, technical aspects such as lights and sound."

Here's what's on stage:

* "The New Girl" — Written and directed by Sarah Langan and Brian Marchetti, it's a farce about life in high school when a new girl arrives in town. The one-act follows her on her first day at school as she meets a number of crazy characters.

* "Eat Like a Child" — Directed by Mickey DeVito and Mary Caitlin Barrett, it's about several children, ranging in age from 12 to 15, (played by teen-agers). The one-act portrays classic scenarios that take place in kids' everyday lives.

Whether it's teaching the audience how to get parents to buy a dog, or simply how to eat a meal, the actors give the audience a chance to see life through a child's eyes. This play is an original piece, and all ages should be able to appreciate the humor of this charming show.

* "Black Comedy" — Directed by Allyson Best. When a fuse breaks, chaos ensues in this comedy. Lies and deceits are prevalent. When the characters find out about secrets kept from one another, they are on the verge of killing each other. Everything goes wrong in the dark, but who knows what will happen in the light?

* "This is a Test" — Directed by Ashley Sumpter, it's a random comedy about a kid named Alan who is taking the test of his life. But he didn't get the review sheets, the teacher doesn't like him and his classmates are cheating. As time passes, the voices in his head keep reminding him that, although he is having trouble with the test, his personal life is far, far worse.

* "Personal Effects" — Directed by Dave Barchet it's an illustration of the stresses of being a teen dealing with the opposite sex and relationships. Each character has his or her own take on dating, interacting and life. Throughout the show, everyone's different personalities and flaws come out in a very comedic way.

* "Canned Hamlet" —Directed by Jamal Crowelle and Nicole Gordon, it's a satirical spoof of the classic story of "Hamlet." Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, becomes suspicious of the circumstances of his father's death when a tomato randomly kills him.

This suspicion is rightly confirmed when his father, The Ghost, comes to reveal a secret that will change his life forever. Comic situations ensue as admirers plan, vampires appear, lives are lost and justice is pursued. Ultimately, it all leads to epic duel between Hamlet and Claudius, the new evil King of Denmark.

* "Hard Candy" — Directed by Brittney Rader with Assistant Director Megan Estes, it's about job applicants at Banff Enterprises doing anything to claw their way up the corporate ladder. In this fast-paced series of hilarious interviews, the new recruits try every trick in the book — from bribery, nepotism and the old-boy network — to blackmail, seductions and mind control.