‘The Outsiders;’ It’s golden!
The Falcon Playhouse, under the direction of SRHS theater teacher Patrick Garcia, is a school organization that operates just like any professional theater company in San Diego, but SRHS students are involved in every aspect of the operation.
“We have a student board that helps me. … We announce our season and move forward just like other theaters would around town,” Garcia said.
Together, the members of Falcon Playhouse have created their own production of “The Outsiders,” a play involving high drama and teenage angst. It’s not a simple play to perform.
“They were very open to this story after we read it,” Garcia said. “They were familiar with it, they did their research, they saw the movie and they just fell in love with this and the themes that just live within this great classic.”
The plot revolves around a gang of working-class teens, most having memorable nicknames. The Falcon Playhouse rendition of “The Outsiders” features Dylan Darwish as “Ponyboy” and Amari Portis as “Johnny.” Griffin Seufert plays “Darry,” Hunter Cotton plays “Sodapop,” Buchanan Kidd plays “Dallas,” Tommy Tran plays “Two-Bit” and Kate Jones plays “Cherry.”
“There are so many standouts, from the young lady playing ‘Cherry’ to ‘Dallas’ to ‘Two-Bit,’ ‘Darry,’ all of the familiar characters,” Garcia said. “I think the audience will really connect with the way the kids have interpreted these roles and breathe life into the story.”
While the play calls for a cast of 18, mostly male actors, Garcia has managed to add several more roles to help move the story forward in scenes such as the one in the drive-in movie.
The script offered its own challenges for the director and all those involved in the production.
“What’s interesting about this play is the way it’s written. There is no breakdown in the scenes (such as act 1 and act 2). … It’s always a challenge to how you present that,” Garcia explained. “It has so many locations, yet we have one fixed space, our stage. So, interpreting that and being able to show that on stage and being honest to the story and showing those locations … although a challenge, it was exciting to tackle and, along with my students set designers and costume designers and the actors, I think we do a pretty good job. But only the audience can tell us that.”
He said that the students embraced the themes within the play not only because they related to the ages of the characters and the obstacles and anxieties they face, but also because of exciting action scenes.
“At the end of the play there is a big clash. … The kids have been working really hard and are eager to show off that clash and what that looks like in all its glory,” Garcia explained.
The actors have been rehearsing diligently since September, Garcia said, and he has been impressed with the work ethic demonstrated by his young cast, as well as its eagerness to take direction and explore modifications as directed.
“I have very enthusiastic students who really strive to do more than just what I call ‘high school theater,'” he said. “They strive to do theater as it’s meant to be. They’re very open to my constant notes and constant shifts and changes in direction. They’re just an amazing group of young actors and technicians who really bonded.”
The Falcon Playhouse production of “The Outsiders” will continue with performances scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 16 and Friday, Nov. 17 in the SRHS Performing Arts Building. Both performances begin at 6:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are $7 plus a small finance charge, and may be purchased online on the Falcon Playhouse Facebook page: bit.ly/2zvEDxL. Tickets at the door are $10.