February 27, 2013
Story and Photos by Joe Vinduska
Love them or hate them, the years spent in high school were formative for most people. Barton Community College’s Theatre Department will offer a chance to reflect on those times as they present the musical “Is There Life After High School?” at 7:30 p.m., March 8 & 9 with a 2:30 p.m. matinee showing on March 10 in the Fine Arts Auditorium.
By Jeffrey Kindley and Craig Carnelia and suggested by the book by Ralph Keyes, the production takes a group of adults down their respective high school memory lanes as they attend their 10-year reunion. Director Erin Renard said the show is unique because there are no formal lead characters.
“This is a true ensemble show,” she said. “Everyone plays an equally important role.”
The show’s cast consists of mostly Barton students who are not far removed from high school, but through their involvement with the production have been able to reflect on their high school experiences.
Sophomore Matt Nolte said his perception of high school has changed dramatically in only a couple of years.
“In high school you kind of feel restricted, but post high school I can do what I want when I want; no one really tells me what to do,” he said. “Looking back you also kind of realize that everything wasn’t as serious as you thought. You think everything is so serious in high school, and then you realize most of it really didn’t matter.”
Sophomore Lance Kilgore said the topic of high school memories makes the play familiar subject matter for anyone watching.
“I believe there is a part in the play that anybody can relate to either through a storyline or a character,” he said. “I think everybody can pull something out from this and think, ‘I went through that,’ or ‘I know how they felt.’”
Sophomore Drew Reisner said being in the musical has provided a cautionary message of sorts to him.
“It has really made me remember the good and bad times of high school, but has also really reminded me to just chase after my dreams,” he said.
The show will be presented through a special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. and will feature performances by live musicians. Paige Nowlan will be the Musical Director and the Tech Director is Leon Sobba.