SMITHVILLE — People-watching can be an entertaining pastime. The opportunity is nigh as Smithville High School brings “Museum” to the Performing Arts Center stage, a play that Taylor Baldwin, 17, calls “the people-watching play.”
Beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 5 through 7 in the PAC, 645 S. Commercial Ave., students will present a comedy focused on a wide range of people exploring three exhibits at a museum.
“You kind of sit there and people watch,” Baldwin explained. “It is like the weird and wacky things people get up to in the museum. There are a lot of fun characters.”
Playing Tink Solheim, Baldwin said the most difficult part for her was learning all of her lines. With about 10 monologues and a lot of shouting throughout the show, Baldwin says she prepares by drinking a lot of hot tea with honey for her throat in addition to recording herself reading other parts and replaying it as she practices her lines.
Being in this production has been a learning experience for many of the cast. Amanda Frey, playing Blakey, said she’s learned how to help create the right reaction.
“Whenever you have a reaction to something, think about why you have that reaction,” Frey said. “My character focuses mainly on the clothesline and my character is just infatuated with it ... I’m trying to understand her reaction to the clothesline,” she continued, adding that she doesn’t feel the same kind of passion for it. “That makes me think about how I react to other things in my life and draw on that.”
Trying to figure out the personality of characters is a running theme of difficulty according to Leighya McNeely, 18, playing Fred Izumi.
“The characters are very much up for interpretation,” McNeely said. “There’s not really a backstory in a lot of the dialogue … You just have to look at what they do provide in the script and the lines and then figure out the traits that would go with those lines and then create your own story that fits.”
McNeely said she began by playing Fred as a timid character, but as rehearsals continued, decided Fred has some attitude.
“The characters are all super big characters who are very unique and a little crazy so it has been fun watching people play those very out-of-the-box characters,” McNeely added.
Watching the characters on stage isn’t the only fun the team has had.
“The other day we were trying to move the set and all of a sudden one of the statutes fell and shattered,” Frey said with a smile. “It kind of broke into a million pieces. … I’d say another fun part was we all got to paint canvases … it was white paint on a white canvas so it was just kind of fun.”
Being Frey’s biggest role at SHS, she said the dynamic of the cast and crew has really impacted the result as well and invites all to see the show.
“All these people are so welcoming,” Frey said. “Every year the group changes a little bit and this year it is so accepting and so comfortable here.”