By Rodney Hays
The Prosper High School Theater Company will present four performances of this year’s winter show, beginning this week. Performances of "The Anatomy of Gray" will begin Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and will run through the weekend.
Theater director Michael Stephens said the play is one making the rounds among theater groups.
"It’s a newer play that has a classical feel. Good story. Great characters," Stephens said. "And it can be done with little or no set. My kids have seen it produced a few times by different companies, so it’s been great showing them another approach."
About 400 kids are directly and indirectly involved in the production, including cast and crew, plus students who helped build the sets and create the costumes.
Stephens said the play is a "visual play" that is suitable for all ages. "There is a ton of good music and always someting to look at," he said.
The Anatomy of Gray by Jim Leonard is a play set in the 1880s that chronicles a young girl, June Muldoon, and her life in the town of Gray. After the death of June’s father she writes a letter to God asking for her town to receive a doctor so that "nobody will ever die again." Her wish comes true when a tornado causes a man in a hot air balloon to crash into their town. This mysterious man is named Galen P. Gray, and having landed in a town titled Gray, the townspeople find this to be more than a coincidence. Soon after Dr. Gray’s arrival, the people of Gray begin to notice strange marks on their skin, and soon after noticing them, those who are "marked" become ill and die. The townspeople look to Dr. Gray for reassurance and answers, but when he himself cannot explain the illness, the town begins to turn on him. This play is filled with ups, downs and twists you won’t expect, and Prosper Theatre has been working vigorously to make this story come to life.
Music will also play an important part in the production. "We are using a lot of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, White Stripes Beatles, etc. It’s a unique approach and we will see how it goes over," Stephens said.
Stephens said it will also be a good example of the style and feel of the department for any potential students, who may be looking at joining the theater department next year.
"Next year we have big plans for doing another huge production," Stephens said. "We hope for 250 students in our musical. It should be really fun and open to most grade levels, third through 12th. This should be the biggest project Prosper has ever seen. Keep your eyes open for that yellow brick road."
In addition to the Thursday show, the production will continue Friday (6:30 p.m.) and two shows on Saturday (2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased at the box office prior to show time with cash or check only.