High schools offer theatrical productions

It’s a trifecta of entertainment this weekend as high school students from Benet Academy, Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley theater departments take the stage. If you are in search of comedy, romance and suspense, you’ll find it all around town.

Benet Academy presents ‘Rebecca’

Benet Academy delivers an eerie psychological drama-thriller when they present “Rebecca,” based on the novel by English author Daphne du Maurier.

“‘Rebecca’ was chosen because every student at Benet has read the du Maurier novel during their freshman year,” said director John Leffler. “What is interesting is that the author actually wrote the play from her novel. The movie version was directed by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1940s and won a Best Picture Oscar.”

The story follows a naïve young bride who marries an aristocratic older widower and moves to the country estate he shared with his first wife, Rebecca. The talented cast of 13 bring the book to life, taking the audience on a journey filled with mystery and romance.

Performances take place at St. Daniel Hall at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Tickets are $5.

Metea Valley presents ‘Shrek’

You will be seeing green at Metea Valley High School thanks to “Shrek, the Musical,” opening this weekend. Based on the popular DreamWorks movie, this production features more than 60 singers and dancers along with a live pit orchestra.

“‘Shrek’ is such a popular movie and now musical because of its humor, recognizable fairy tale characters and twists and turns,” said Nathan Bramstedt, musical director. “More importantly, we are drawn to this story because of its big heart.”

Bramstedt said a cast and crew of more than a hundred students share the hilarious tale of the beloved ogre and his sidekick, Donkey. With a musical score that ventures into show-stopping Broadway numbers, the audience will be dancing in the aisles by the finale.

“The story teaches tolerance, self-acceptance and love, all packaged in this hilarious tale, with joy and celebration,” he said. “What great themes for us all — especially for our teenagers!”

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, and 1 p.m. Sunday, May 3. Tickets are $9 (reserved seating). To make a reservation, email Jessica Thomas at jessicas_thomas@ipsd.org or call the ticket office at 630-375-5900, ext. 8220.

Waubonsie presents ‘In the Heights’

Audiences are in for a treat when they arrive to see “In the Heights,” based on the Tony-award winning musical, these weekend at Waubonsie Valley High School.

Director Dave Calvert said the production offers students “an opportunity to perform in a contemporary show with a music style more relatable to their own generation.”

“This musical has a wonderful combination of comedy and drama,” Calvert said. “The characters are challenging; the music is electrifying; the pit is demanding; and the tech demands are very, very high.”

More than 140 students bring the show to life on the high-school stage.

“The most impressive thing is how these kids have absorbed, developed and projected the essence of what it is like to grow up in an urban setting on our stage,” Calvert said. “Their commitment to tackle some very challenging characters, songs and choreography has elevated this show beyond any ‘high school’ musical.”

The show opened Thursday, May 1, and is at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3. Tickets are reserved, $8 for students and $11 for adults. For more information, email wv_box_office@ipsd.org

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