"When I was a student here, Jamie Davis directed a one-act play and a readers' theater, but Cassville High School hasn't done a play since 2005," said Casey Andrews, CHS speech and debate teacher. "I directed a couple of plays in college.
"When I came here, it seemed natural that I would do this," said Andrews. "Then, a couple of students asked if we were going to do a play, I didn't want to say no."
Andrews selected the one-act play "Mandy Dear," written by Hillary Ingber, as Cassville High School's comeback production.
"A classmate of mine directed this play in college, so I was familiar with it," said Andrews. "It is modern, funny and offers flexibility. You can do it with a cast of six to 15 people. It also offers some very quirky characters, which I thought would be fun."
Students began rehearsing the play in March. Rehearsals are held every day afterschool for around an hour.
"This is a romantic comedy about an advice columnist who receives a letter that she thinks is from her ex-boyfriend," said Andrews. "She gives him some really bad advice, which ruins his relationship with his girlfriend."
Students have been so excited about the spring production that Andrews has already planned to expand the drama program next year.
"We will have one drama class next year and possibly two," said Andrews. "I plan to do a fall play and children's show, and then a one-act and reader's theater for competition in the spring. We might also have a mystery dinner theater."
Next year, high school theater productions will be impacted by the amount of funding available for the department in the 2011-12 school year budget.
"Right now, we are depending on donations and borrowing props and costume pieces," said Andrews. "We are looking for sponsors for upcoming productions. That would really help with our expenses."
The drama department will also be selling tickets to performances of "Mandy Dear," which will be offered at 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 8. Tickets, which can be reserved by contacting the Cassville High School drama department, will be $5 for adults and $2 for students.
In addition to expanding theater productions, Andrews is working to expand participation in Cassville High School's speech and debate competition program.
Andrews directed two plays while attending Northwest Missouri State University where she received a degree in speech and theater education.
"I directed a short play that was a graduation requirement," said Andrews. "I also did a second show, which I wrote called 'Ride.' It is a religious-inspired piece."
For more information on Cassville High School's drama department, to make a donation or to reserve tickets, contact Andrews at 847-3137 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.