Drama students get limelight

'Family Circles' play runs two more times today

— Steamboat Springs High School students received a lesson in family dynamics this month, but not in the classroom.

Alan Ayckbourn's 1970 play "Family Circles," which opened Thursday evening, has given student cast members and the community a satirical look at dysfunctional families across America.

A matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening performance at 7 p.m. today in the high school theater will be the last performance of the school year. Tickets are $5 and are available at the high school and at All That Jazz.

Stuart Handloff, director of the play and high school drama teacher, said the opening performance Thursday night went well, but of course friends and family always will give their unconditional support.

"A woman that was visiting relatives, and didn't know the high school from Adam, said it was the highlight of her vacation," Handloff said. "Those are the kinds of things that really make a great show."

The plot begins when three daughters, and partners, visit their parents Edward and Emma Gray for their wedding anniversary. However, the daughters think their parents are attempting to kill each other.

As the plot thickens Ayckbourn presents a coup de theatre when the couples switch partners more than once.

Described as "the Ayckbourn play that got away," the theatrical and intelligent humor gives light to what the character Edward says, "We all marry the wrong people."

Kyle Kuvin, a senior who plays Edward, said the part is difficult to play because it's out of his natural persona.

"My character is extremely cranky. It's a bit more challenging. Someone came up to me after the play and said, 'I've never heard you yell before,'" Kuvin said.

In the first three scenes and the last scene, all characters except Edward and Emma remain the same person, but have a different partner in each scene.

"It's hysterical. It is really really funny," said Carolyn Arithson, mother of Andryn. "It's just about all the little things that go on in a family."

After about three weeks of practice five days a week, Kuvin said opening night was a success with no mistakes.

Kuvin said students had to get into their character by doing a series of exercises in order to find out the behavior of the characters.

Although it's just a hobby that Kuvin's been interested in for most of his life, many others take the job a bit more seriously.

Handloff said a couple students have been or are currently in his drama class, but many want to go further with their performing careers and have an interest in attending Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School.

Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School is the oldest continuously operating performing arts school in the nation, offering intense multi-week programs in dance, theatre, music, creative writing, playwriting and equestrian to students from around

the world.

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