During these hard economic times, especially now that the holidays have arrived, perhaps what people need most is a good laugh.
Ramona High School drama teacher Courtney Sawada may not have considered this when The Whole Darn Shooting Match was selected, but it may just be the medicine people need. The highly comedic play runs through this weekend.
Set in 1962, The Whole Darn Shooting Match is about a zany group of employees in the creative department of a chemical company, trying to save their product and their jobs from the big bad capitalistic conglomerates of New York City. Despite the tough situation, the play is incredibly witty and lighthearted. The wacky characters are fun and endearing and the audience will find themselves laughing and cheering them on.
To prepare for the production, Sawada and her dedicated crew have been working since September and, as usual, Sawada held the bar high.
“We started with a lengthy and serious text analysis, more in-depth than ever before, which enabled the students to really create their own show,” she said. “They did extensive research into the turn of the decade between the 1950s and 1960s, which enabled them to develop their own creative vision for the show.
“From this they then designed the set, coming to a consensus as a class. Everyone was involved in contributing props and set pieces, all according to the research they did. The kids have put so much time and effort into this production and it really shows.”
The hardest part for the actors, Sawada said, was emulating the style of speech and humor from the 1960s.
“It was much more witty and lighthearted and less sarcastic than the humor of today,” she said. “So, getting the right delivery and timing was a challenge. The Dick Van Dyke Show as well as Mad Men, a current TV show set in the 60s, was used to study the mannerisms and speech patterns. They also delved into a lot of vintage television commercials.”
The play was chosen for its difficulty as well as for its humor, Sawada said.
All the more reason to come out and see just what RHS drama students are capable of One will be whisked back in time, not only because of the set design, but also the way the students get so deep into character.
“They really have to stretch their creativity and skills to take on these roles,” said Sawada. “I really wanted them to learn about culture and explore human nature through art and this play takes that on.”
The play opened last weekend to positive reviews around campus and will continue through this weekend with shows tonight through Saturday.
The admission booth opens at 6:45 p.m., with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. The price of admission is $6 per student and $8 for adults.
If you need a good laugh and want to be taken back to different times, The Whole Darn Shooting Match is definitely the way to do it.