The majority of plays have titles that don't reveal much about the show, frequently they are just the name of a main character (Matilda, Cyrano De Bergerac, Hamilton, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, etc.). But, the show that Hastings High School students performed Feb. 7-9, had a road map for the title, giving viewers a good idea of what they were about to see: "Love, Death and the Prom."
The play follows the themes in the title. However, it is much different than what may be imagined when reading the name. This is mainly due to the sketches that comprise the show.
Most plays follow a few plot lines from beginning to end. This show, meanwhile, is built in blocks. Small groups of students performed short sketches (about 10 minutes in length) about what it is like to be in high school. The scenes jumped from the football locker room of a team with a long losing streak, to students trying to study for a difficult English test, to a group of friends preparing to graduate and coming to terms with how their lives will change while they are apart from one another.
Along with the sketches that create laughs and smiles, the students tackled hard topics like suicide and sexual assault.
Eliana Lawrence and Will Sorg play friends who recently lost a brother/friend to suicide. The scene is emotional and raw. The two actors did a wonderful job portraying the hurt, grief and anger that their characters felt.
Ash Clark and Nate Klingner were in a sketch that talked about assault. Klingner, who plays a character that doesn't listen to or respect "no," explained in a talk-back session with the audience that it was hard to play a character that did something terrible. He explained that he had to realize that his character did a really bad thing, but he wasn't all together a bad person to fully portray him.
As the title says, the play ends with the prom. Well, it ends with couples trying to decide if they will attend the dance. One character has to overcome his family's history of prom disasters, another person asked someone other than his girlfriend to prom, and one high school student wanted her boyfriend to propose to her at the prom. He, meanwhile, was not prepared for the big step in their relationship.
The students did a wonderful job with this show.