Regardless of which decade we attended high school, there was one constant for all of us — drama. High school today is certainly no different. A new and improved version of “The Average High School Play” is a example of just that.
Steven Meeker Jr. and Andrew Clarkson originally wrote the script in 2007, and the duo directed the one-act screen play. This weekend, Meeker presents to the world the final draft, so to speak.
Meeker directs a cast of 18 high school students, including himself and Clarkson. The play revolves around a high school drama production and the trials and tribulations of being a high school student, and teacher, in the modern technological era.
The cast of characters is symbolic of the personalities found at any high school across the United States. The quiet girl who suffers from stage fright, the nerd, mean popular girls, a less than stellar actor who already has a spot on his dresser for his first Oscar award, a new teacher about to be eaten alive by his students and a controlling principal.
Mr. Jacobs, the drama teacher, becomes overwhelmed by the stresses of producing his own play, a modern-day twist of Romeo and Juliet. Strikes against the teacher quickly mount up as two cast members plot to have the teacher fired so the play will be canceled.
The production is a great mix of drama, humor and tragedy — all of which are self-defined and interchangeable depending on your personal perception.
Both Meeker and Clarkson show their multifaceted talents. Clarkson is not only a gifted writer, but is a talented actor who shines from behind the nerdy glasses and Steve Urkel-like suspenders.
Meeker, who easily commanded respect of his cast and crew during Thursday’s dress rehearsal, has all the makings of a successful director/writer/actor, and the ambition to make it happen.
Although the play is based on an Ohio high school, in no way should that determine the age of those who view the masterful play this weekend. It is a wonderful example of exceptional talent that is encouraged to grow and develop right here in Knox County.
The entire cast is a talented group of students actors who will continue to be featured in productions here in the future or wherever their lives take them.
Performances take place tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at ThePlace@TheWoodward. Tickets are available at the door for a minimal charge.