Patrons of the stage will get a chance to picnic in the park while enjoying a one act comedy courtesy of the Thomson High School Competition Drama class.
The group will present "A Gap in Generations" Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Monroe Kimbrell Gardens behind the Watson Brown Foundation on Tom Watson Way. Admission is free and open to the public, and visitors may bring dinner and a blanket, or may sit on the provided chairs. If it is raining, the performance will be held indoors at Thomson High.
Cast members practice Tuesday for their upcoming performance.
Photo by Kristopher Wells
The play, a form of Commedia del'Arte, is an Italian Renaissance Comedy written by Jerry Blunt. The story revolves around a troupe of players who come to Bologna, Italy, to give a performance, and includes a mix up of identities and two Italian families with a plan to unite their children in marriage.
"It's a play within a play," said Kelly Flanders, drama teacher.
The production will include colorful period costumes of the 1500s and real Italian theater masks that Mr. Flanders brought back from Italy two years ago.
"It's a very colorful piece. This is our competition piece that we have already taken to two contests, and will take to regional competition Nov. 5," Mrs. Flanders said.
Senior Rafeal Britt, who has been involved with drama since the seventh grade, plays the part of Pantalone. His character is a father who schemes for his son to marry his best friend's daughter.
"It's a funny play all around. It's easy to follow, and it has some clichÈs," he said.
The group of 20 cast and crew members presented the piece during a recent drama marathon in Harlem and also to the Georgia Theatre Conference in Savannah.
"We got a lot of laughs," Rafeal said.
"The response was very favorable. There were lots of excellent comments from the judges (at Harlem)," Mrs. Flanders said.
Performing the piece should reinforce some lessons about Commedia del'Arte, a form of improvisational comedy that started in Italy in the 1500s, then spread throughout Europe.
"I think it is easiest to learn a little bit about the history if you perform a piece from the period," she said.
The group will present the play a total of six times, including the district contest in Statesboro Nov. 5 at Georgia Southern Performing Arts Center where 13 high schools will compete.
In addition, the group will present the piece Nov. 2 at Thomson High School and Nov. 4 at Thomson Middle School.
Based on previous years, a total of 600 to 700 people will probably see the presentation.