The Arcola School Senior Drama put on their annual production which they had been working on for the Region One Drama Festival. The group hosted their school at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, and welcomed the community to the MacMurray Theatre that evening.
This year the drama group decided upon the play “Building Blocks” by Jeffrey Harr, which addresses societies’ gender stereotypes based on what a young boy and girl hear from their parents. These gender stereotypes are addressed and broken as the children begin to play together.
“There’r a gazillion-jillion things girls stink at. Like throwin’ a baseball, and runnin’ for vice pepsodent, and beatin’ people up. Sure can’t build nothin’. Ev’rybody knows, girls were put on this Earth for one thing and one thing only: to spend a man’s money,” the boy (Jay James) says to the audience. “Well, that’s what my daddy says, anyway.”
The boy eventually allows the girl to build with him, but they have a conflict: “There’r a trillion-kajillion things boys are stupid about. Like shoppin’ for shoes, askin’ for directions, and ‘memberin’ to put the toilet seat down. S’not that hard to ‘member, unless you’re stupid. Men were put on this Earth for one reason and one reason only: to make women crazy,” the girl (Shaleen Hengen) says to the audience. “Well, that’s what my mommy says, anyway.”
The two continue to squabble, worry about catching cooties, and eventually the boy tells her to leave his blocks alone.
The girl becomes visibly upset, crying. The boy apologizes and they begin to build together. As the boy builds a football stadium he is surprised that the girl knows about the NFL and is a Browns fan, just like him.
The pair bond and eventually wreck what they’ve built with blocks, when their parents arrive. Both are divorced and as they begin to talk show interest in each other, to which the kids jump up and pull them away from each other. After all the kids just became friends, they don’t want to become siblings.
The production’s cast and crew did a wonderful job bringing the play to life. Jay brought his character to life with a childish accent, creating a higher pitched voice to sell the age of his character to the audience. His co-star in the play, Shaleen, did a great job as she portrayed the various emotions her character had to go through in such a short amount of time.
Arcola School performed their production on Friday, April 15, at the Region One Drama Fest where students did very well. Dacey Fleck received a tech certificate of merit for stage management, Dawson Cutler and Johnathon Ulsifer each received tech certificate of merit for props and set, while Shaleen Hengen earned an unsung hero award. Additionally all of the Arcola actors received acting certificates of merit: Shaleen Hengen, Kayla McLaren, Keegan Heidinger, and Jay James.