POSTED: March 2015
Catherine Landers, 16, of Erving, an actress with the Franklin County Technical School Players, is eager to take the stage to perform the theater company’s spring production.
“Acting is one of my favorite things to do,” she said during a break in a recent rehearsal. “It allows me to be creative and to be someone I’m not, even just for a little while. It’s also an outlet for my high energy. It’s just really fun.”
Landers and her fellow thespians will present “A Night of Theater with the FCTS Players.” The night of comedy will feature two shows, the first being “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.” The FCTS Players will also perform “Super Heroes: With Great Power Comes Ordinary Responsibility.” Science teacher and FCTS Players advisor Daniel Prasol is the director.
The show will be held on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A in Turners Falls. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Tickets can be reserved by calling (413) 863-9561, ext. 233.
In “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse,” the end of the world is at hand and hordes of rampaging zombies are about to kill every living being. What do you do? Try your hand at kung fu against the undead? Attempt to reason with creatures that would rather eat brains than use them? Turn to this handy and hilarious guide to survive the apocalypse.
The characters in “Super Heroes: With Great Power Comes Ordinary Responsibility,” find that the problems facing superheroes are more mundane, but no less hilarious. For superheroes, saving the world is tough, but the time spent away from work is tougher. The Hulk has to do taxes, a crime-fighting sidekick joins a support group, and Batman goes stir-crazy without enough criminals to take down. “Superheroes” is a funny, fast-paced series of vignettes that explores how the caped crusaders deal with life in street clothes.
In the superheroes portion of the evening, Landers, who is a senior in the FCTS programming and web development program, will play Jayne, one of the Wonder Twins.
“This play allows me to do one of my favorite things and that’s to dress up as a superhero,” she said.
Amelia Kendrick, a cosmetology student from Greenfield joined the FCTS Players two years ago when Prasol first formed the group. She was reluctant to join at first because the production “Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical and she was unsure of her singing abilities. Prasol and her music teacher convinced her to try out and she loved it. In fact, getting that part was a life-changing experience for the 17-year-old senior, who plans to move to California after high school and become an actress.
“I got up the courage to try out and I’m glad I did,” Kendrick said. “It was a lot of fun. Last year’s production was fun too, and this year is going to be great. I’m just sad that this year is going to be my last year doing it at the school.”
In the zombie play, Kendrick is narrator #2 and is an accountant named Mia in the superheroes production. According to Kendrick, the Franklin County Tech theater productions give audiences an alternative to the spring musicals performed by other schools.
“It’s our own thing,” she said. “The scripts are written by professionals and we chose them from a website and they were the funniest scripts. They’re both different than what other schools have done. That’s what the FCTS Players do; we want to give the audience something unique.”
Cassidy Shaida, a 17-year-old culinary student from Greenfield, joined the FCTS Players last year for their spring production and “had a great time.” The senior will play zombie #2 and Spiderman in the two segments.
“I love performing so I figured I’d do it again,” Shaida said. “I like Marvel Comics and I like how it’s two plays in one. It will be fun to play two completely different characters.”
For Adam McConachie, 18, a senior in the plumbing and heating program, joining the FCTS Players was a way to overcome stage fright and gain confidence. He’s also made lots of friends in the group. He’ll play zombie #1 and Zan of the Wonder Twins.
“Because I had stage fright, a lot of people told me that how much fun this was,” said the Bernardston resident. “Since I joined, I’ve gotten over all of my stage fright and it’s giving me the confidence to try other things.”
Hailey Perkins-McGraw, a cosmetology student from Ashfield, said because the FCTS Players are putting on two plays, there will likely be something for all members of the audience to enjoy.
“If the audience prefers one play over the other, that’s okay,” she said.
The 17-year-old junior will play a character named “Christie” in the zombie portion of the production that she describes as “ditzy.” She’s a character named “Nelly” in the superheroes segment, who she says is Superman’s boss.
“I have to break the news to Clark Kent that everyone knows he’s Superman,” Perkins-McGraw said.
Mark Pedercini, 18, from Orange, a senior in the FCTS programming and web development program, is playing narrator #1 in the zombie play and a super fan in the superhero production. He was in last spring’s show and found that it brought people together.
“I love how much that it feels like a family,” Pedercini said. “We mess up once in awhile in rehearsal, but we laugh and fix it. We pull together no matter what. My favorite part of it is how close we are and how much fun it is.”