'Savages' take the HHS stage
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
He was looking for a Broadway play, and he found one in "The Curious Savage."
That meant Bill Gasper had to be particularly selective this year in choosing his cast.
"It's a decision that I didn't take lightly," said Gasper, director of plays at Hays High School. "The spring play usually has larger casts. But I wanted to try something more Broadway-oriented, and they typically have a little smaller casts."
So the 11-member cast and three crew members have been practicing this semester for next week's play. The production, which runs about two hours with a 15-minute intermission, is set for 7 p.m. March 14, 15 and 16 at the 12th Street Auditorium, 323 W. 12th.
General admission tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Hays High School during school hours at (785) 623-2600. Advance tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students, or they can purchased at the door for $6 and $4.
The play centers on a recently widowed woman, played by senior Anna Hickert, who has inherited a substantial amount of money and her stepchildren conspire to have her committed to a private sanatorium known as "The Cloisters."
There, the widow, Ethel Savage, gets to know five colorful characters who are long-term patients in the facility.
Gasper said it's a play suitable for all ages.
"It's a comedy, but it has some serious theme to it, too," he said, "The importance of family and the contrast between greed and generosity."
Gasper said he has been wanting to do this play, a "community theater and high school staple for more than 60 years," for a long time.
"Although it was written in 1950, those good messages still ring very true today," he said of the play's theme. "I want people to come out and see how talented our young actors are.
"They are very dedicated and put in a lot of work," he added, "and their only reward is to perform in front of an audience."