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'Our Town' on tap for Olympian High School drama department this weekend Phillip Brents | Fri, Apr 25 2014 02:07 PM

The Olympian High School theater arts program’s presentation of “Our Town,” a three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder, will wrap up this weekend with three performances: Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, at 7 p.m. and April 26 at 2 p.m. in the campus theater.

The play is produced by the school’s advanced theater class under the direction of OHS drama teacher Jennifer Schaeffer.

“Everyone gets a role, either cast or crew,” Schaeffer explained. “The play is also double-cast, with some roles being triple-cast, to ensure all can participate.”

The play is set in 1938 and tells the story of two simple families: the Gibbs and the Webbs, living in the town of Grover’s Corners, N.H. In the three acts, Wilder journeys through the cycle of life, from the birth of a new life — all the way up to the inevitable.

Throughout the play, Schaeffer explained, the viewer experiences the great milestones in life that they can relate to, such as new life, first love, long lasting love and the effect of death.

“The last act holds a special significance,” Schaeffer said. “In it, Wilder uses the theme of death to show the viewer how humans fail to ‘realize life while they live it.’”

Schaeffer noted the play’s simplicity also helps it appeal to a multitude of audiences — whether young or old, past or present.

Lead actors include Yasmine Alatriste and Yesennia Rodriguez as Emily Webb, Ivan Gonzalez as George Gibbs, Faisal Imami as Mr. Webb, Damani MacArthur and Amira Temple as Mrs. Webb, Gianna Orozco and Sabrina Boudreaux as Mrs. Gibbs, Hector Osuna and Greg Goff as Dr. Gibb, Ozzie Mangayat, Korina Toledo and Arlynn Adamos as the stage manager.

Olympian High School is located at 1925 Magdalena Ave., Chula Vista.

All the world’s a stage

The OHS drama department put on five shows last year, including its first musical, “Grease.” The production was a group effort between Schaeffer, band teacher Eric Mabrey, dance teacher Michelle Morris and choir teacher Jennifer Opdahl. Auditions attracted 110 students.

Audience approval has swelled with increased student participation in the school’s drama classes. The final show for last semester’s “The Wizard of Oz” attracted 500 theater-goers.

Schaeffer said “Oz” was something the school production company wanted to do for fun and was more recognizable to audiences.

“That was the most ambitious show we’ve ever done,” she explained. “There were 13 scenes which meant 13 set changes. The crew is so important to the success of any play and their efforts were seamless. The actors took my breath away. I am so proud of these kids. After that final show of ‘Oz,’ I wanted to to cry.”


Bon Appetit wine tasting set Saturday at Otay Ranch Town Center
The annual Bon Appetit fundraiser to benefit the Chula Vista Public Library will take place Saturday, April 26, from 5 to 9 p.m., in the food pavilion at Otay Ranch Town Center. The event is sponsored by the Chula Vista Public Library Foundation and will feature a wine tasting and food samples from several area restaurants.

Tickets are $40 per person and are on sale at all three branch libraries, including the Otay Ranch Town Center branch; tickets also will be available at the door.

Guests must be 21 years or older to attend. For information, visit the website at www.cvplfoundation.net or call Betty Waznis at (619) 691-5170.

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