Drama club betting on latest production

Woodland Regional High School drama club actors, from left, Brennan Cummings, Sydney Sills, Laura Vitzoski and Wesley Stein get ready for rehearsal April 28 for the club’s production of ‘Guys and Dolls.’ –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Regional High School drama club wants to make a bet that audiences will love its latest production.

The drama club will present “Guys and Dolls” this weekend. The show opens Friday at 7 p.m. with an encore performance Saturday at the same time at the school.

The musical, which originally debuted in 1950, follows the characters of Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, who are both gamblers, as they make a bet about Masterson bringing Sarah Brown, a missionary, to Cuba. In addition, the musical focuses on the relationship between Detroit and his fiancé, Adelaide.

“It is basically about the two love stories between the four characters,” said senior Sydney Sills, who plays Adelaide.

“Guys and Dolls” features dancing and choreography, both aspects of the theater the actors aren’t used to.

While this is not the first choreographed show the drama club has performed, senior Laura Vitzoski, who plays Sarah Brown, said, it is the first this group of actors has done during their time at Woodland.

Vitzoski said the actors have to focus more on their movements in addition to learning their lines and songs.

“The first thing we have to have to do is make sure every person who is part of the dance is focused and paying attention. If they are not paying attention they are not going to pick up the dance moves. We have to be able to pick it up, learn it, and move on to the next part,” Vitzoski said.

This production also requires students to get into the mindset of characters they may not have much in common with.

Junior Wesley Stein, who plays the compulsive gambler Sky Masterson, doesn’t gamble. In order to get into character he rented the movie, watched it and ran his character’s lines in concert with Marlon Brando, who plays Masterson in the film.

“I tried to repeat scenes along with the movie and tried to learn Sky Masterson and be like him. Sometimes I like to think of myself as being like Sky Masterson, kind of confident and on the slick side, but obviously not as great as him,” Stein said.

Director Susan Cinoman said the students are rising to the challenges of having to learn songs, lines and choreography.

“We are not the Joffrey (Ballet School) but we are working really hard. It makes it 20 times harder to choreograph and sing. We have worked really hard. We have been here since just after Christmas break,” Cinoman said. “They are rising to the occasion and working so hard.”

Cinoman said the show is dedicated to the “Drama Mamas” who help out with the club’s productions and don’t have children at the school.

“It’s dedicated to the people we need and care about and who have done so much for us as a theater,” Cinoman said.

The cast of Woodland Regional High School drama club’s upcoming production of ‘Guys and Dolls’ is pictured on stage at the school in Beacon Falls before rehearsal April 28. –LUKE MARSHALL

It was by chance that the club is putting on “Guys and Dolls.”

A friend of one of the school’s employees lost his home in a fire, Cinoman said. One of the few items to survive the fire was a box of old theater programs, including a program from a 1950s production of “Guys and Dolls.”

“It was very strange. Why didn’t a box of paper programs burn? So we just decided that was a sign and we are going to do ‘Guys and Dolls’ in the spring,” Cinoman said.

Tickets for the show are $10 and can be bought at the door. Tickets can also be reserved online at www.wrhsdramaclub.com.

Cinoman recommends people who want to guarantee a seat reserve their ticket online. She pointed to the club’s 2014 production of “Grease,” which had lines around the school to get in.

“I think it is going to be like that again. It is a big show,” Cinoman said.

Vitzoski encouraged people to come see the production, saying it will be even bigger than last year’s production of “The Sound of Music.”

“It is just going to be impressive to see what we, as young adults and most of us aren’t even adults yet, can put on when put all of our skills together. We can really put on an amazing performance that you wouldn’t expect from a bunch of high schoolers,” Vitzoski said.