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‘Take Me Along’ first show for Hersey drama department

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The following article was originally published in The Correspondent on Oct. 6, 1972.  It is being republished as a part of the “Golden Years” segment, celebrating 50 volumes of The Correspondent.

Hersey’s Drama Department has given to the theatre public a rich tapestry of comedy and drama. Again this year, Mr. Jerry M Lowe and Mr. John Marquette, Drama instructors at Hersey, promise to contribute their talents to weave another fine cloth of performances.

The first production of the year, Take Me Along, is a musical comedy involving a large cast consisting of several new talents from freshmen and sophomores. Mr. Lowe and Mr. Marquette will co-direct the performance, making it their third effort at co-directing.

Among the production coming up this year is A Hatful of Rain, Mr. Marquette’s serious play and The Tavern, which will be directed by Mr. Lowe, who describes it as “the classic American farce.” Two other productions are in the planning with the variety show terminated this year.

The variety show is the only production that has been cut. “All of the schools within the district,” explained Mr. Lowe, “are required to give time to one of the local community theaters. We were lucky enough in bidding for and getting the Village Theatre of Arlington Heights.”

But instead of the one production the Village Theatre is planning a children’s production in December and a regular show in May.

Due to lack of interest, the variety show has been permanently put into retirement. Student Council, in the past years, has produced the variety show, but didn’t want to take it on again this year.According to Mr. Lowe, “It just seemed to be an awful lot of wasted effort.” There may be another production to take it’s place next year if the theatre group doesn’t produce two performances.

As to finances, the Drama Dept. came out ahead in money last year, and Mr. Lowe and Mr. Marquette are hopeful as to this coming year. “Many people are under the delusion that the school gives us money,” Mr. Lowe stated. “That is not the case; the Drama Dept. operates strictly off of what they make.”

Musicals are extremely expensive productions, even though they are popular with the school. For example,Guys and Dolls alone cost more than the other four productions combined. “While musicals are an interesting and good experience, we make almost no money on it,” commented Mr. Lowe.

According to Mr. Low, what people want to see is good dramatic fare. But, if that’s what you produce, no one comes out. Yet, he feels the theatre should not put out strictly what the school wants since the theatre is an educational department and not only for entertainment.

“I don’t think it would be good for the students to be a recreational theatre,” stated Mr. Lowe. “The kids ought to have the opportunity to do as many different kinds of plays as possible. We do work to try and maintain a balance.”

Both coaches feel that there is not enough audience interest in the production. Mr. Marquette declared, “There is certainly sufficient female interest in the performances.” The problem is not in interest, feels mr. Lowe, but in getting people to come out and get involved and take their changes in auditions.

“Auditions,” Mr. Lowe stated, “is very hard on people. Everyone feels bad if they don’t make it. The problem is to get the people out to take the chance. If not, then you cast the same people because they’re the only ones that come out.”

The directors were pleased with the turnouts for Take Me Along, which was mainly freshmen and sophomores. “They are very good people,” declared Mr. Lowe, “very enthusiastic people. And there are a lot of them in the cast.” The cast includes a wide variety of new people and new talent.

Yet, stated Mr. Marquette, “Our major problem remains attendance at the performances.” With the diversity of opportunities and talents, this year should prove to be a fresh year in the Little Theater. With so much potential compacted into one tiny niche, Hersey’s Drama Dept. should “bring down the house” and rake up the shambles in ecstatic triumph.

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‘Take Me Along’ first show for Hersey drama department