A ‘Crazy’ return

Dolores High School and Middle School Theatre program up and running, and set to take the stage Friday

Cael McHenry makes a face as Maggie Copeland and Rachelle Tulia sit on his back while Casey McClellan stands by during rehearsal for “Who’s Crazy Now?” Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Dolores Star

Cael McHenry makes a face as Maggie Copeland and Rachelle Tulia sit on his back while Casey McClellan stands by during rehearsal for “Who’s Crazy Now?”

Theater enthusiasts, community members and thrill seekers take note: A scintillating play is set to take place at Dolores High School the next two weekends and the event deserves a look.

A ‘crazy’ plot

Written by Gerald Bell, the plot of the upcoming play, titled “Who’s Crazy Now?” revolves on a group of former teachers housed in an insane asylum.

Driven to madness by after tutoring rowdy students, the crazy teachers live a humorous existence devoid of sanity, yet full of excitement.

Eventually, a young perspective teacher, Florence Ware, played by seventh-grader Maggie Copland, arrives at the asylum hoping to experience teaching firsthand.

While at the institution, Ware begins to fall in love the crazy Dr. Sullivan, played by seventh-grader Casey McClellan.

A hilarious story that examines the meaning of love, sanity and our very existence, “Who’s Crazy Now?” promises to thrill audiences of all ages and interest.

“(The play) is funny,” explained seventh-grader Cael McHenry, who plays Dr. Van. “There is also a serious part in the play, and it has a lot of truth behind it.”

A revived drama program

Sponsoring the play will be the Dolores High School and Middle School Theatre Program that had been on hiatus in recent years.

Forced to shut down in 2011 because of district-wide budget cuts, the program was revived late in 2013 at the behest of an anonymous donor, who contributed $10,000.

Not long after the donation, the program hired former Montezuma-Cortez High School student and University of Northern Colorado graduate Angela Gabardi to direct operations.

Upon arriving in Dolores to spearhead the program, Gabardi experienced an outpouring of support from a community that was excited for the reintroduction of theatre in Dolores.

“When I got here, every teacher was willing to help, construction class was willing to build sets, the maintenance team was willing to get us lights,” said Garbardi. “It became organized quickly.”

Bolstered by the local support, Garbardi acquired costumes and stage equipment before holding auditions for “Who’s Crazy Now?” in February.

“It has been crazy,” said Gabardi. “We now have about 30 total students from the high school and the middle school involved.”

Program promises vast benefits

In addition to the entertainment value, the Dolores High School and Middle School drama promises benefits to young people in the community.

“Not all kids like sports, but they want to be part of something,” said Garbardi. “Theater allows them to be artists, it allows them to draw, it allows them to build, and it allows them to act.”

In addition, the program will provide educational and social benefits to those involved.

Most important, however, students participating in the drama program have enjoyed a fun experience.

“It’s fun to break loose and become somebody different,” said McHenry, describing his favorite part of acting.”

“I’ve enjoyed it a lot,” added sophomore Rachelle Tulio. “I’m hoping that other (students) can see what we do and they become involved.”

Looking ahead to bright future

In light of the vast benefits provided by the Dolores High School and Middle School Theatre Program, those involved are hopeful that the program will enjoy a bright future.

For that to happen however, it is imperative that members of the local community remain involved and help out wherever they can.

“I’m hoping the whole community will get more involved in acting,” said McClellan.

“It’s really important to see people from the community at our play,” echoed Tulio. “If people come out, we will get to do this more often.”

In light of Tulio’s words, community members are encouraged to attend the upcoming play.

Shows will take place at Dolores High School on April 25 at 7 p.m. April 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., May 9 at 7 p.m. and on May 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.