The cast of “Camp Paradise” Front row Savannah Cordle, Hannah Tindal, Alyssa Monahan, Kayli Hetrick. Second row Sydney Schmidt, Hannah Johnson, Hannah Conroy, Kassidy Hauschild, Alyssa Klocke. Third row Elizabeth Reynolds, Justice Edds, Katie Robinson, Alyssa Klocke, Jake Steiner, Josiah de Neui. Fourth row Melanie Eggler, Liz Klocke, Kristen Eggler, Aurora Cagnizi. Back row Gabe Tempel, Chad Kruger, Levi Tempel, Karl Stasko, Logan Monahan.
By Ruth Hanson
"Camp Paradise," the Hayfield High School fall play, is less than a month from opening night and the curtain going up.
It will be November 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the gym.
"This is a play that I think will appeal to all ages," Dori Sparks, the director, said. "With close to a month of rehearsals left, it is coming together nicely. And I have always found that the students work hardest at the end."
She explained that Camp Paradise, by Robert Frankel, has all the things that could be expected at a summer camp. It is 22 skits - some funny, some sad and all realistic, including the pranks.
"There are friendships made and times around the campfire, with ghost stories and sing-a-longs - all the things you think about with summer camps," she said.
There are 24 actors playing 140 parts, so she said it is quite a challenge, "but it has been fun for me and for the kids. There are some very touching moments, too."
She said that she finds high school theater experiences create memories for students' entire lives - good background for life and valuable life skills.
"They love it," she said. "Some of the seniors graduate with experience from eight plays. It is not unusual for them to go on to be in college theater."
Sparks herself was too shy to try out for a high school play, even though her school had a very active drama department.
"But I was scared," she said. "When I came to Hayfield to teach, they needed an assistant director, so I did that for four years. Then Michelle Young went off to work on her master's degree and Dori Sparks became the director. And I've been in charge for 16 years."
She doesn't seem to tire of it and she is convinced that audiences will enjoy watching these teenagers dressed in Camp Pendleton t-shirts doing their multitude of camp sketches.