Opinion: ‘The Odd Couple’ canceled for Citrus Valley, but the show must go on

Although Citrus Valley’s Advanced Theatre program will not be producing “The Odd Couple” as previously anticipated, hopes are high for the new show in mind as preparations are underway. (Tuur Tisseghem/ Pexels)

By AMBER NEUSCHELER 

Toward the end of last year, the students of the Advanced Theatre class for the upcoming school year at Citrus Valley High School were trying to decide which show to produce and eventually perform for the school. It was ultimately Citrus Valley’s theatre teacher, Elena Villa, who decided on the female version of “The Odd Couple” after our deliberation proved unfruitful. We were all quite happy with the selection and were eager to begin preparations.

Auditions for the show were hosted over the summer, and the cast was decided before the school year even began. Personally, I was cast to play Mickey, one of the friends of the title characters, Flo and Olive. Rehearsals ran nearly every day during sixth period for several weeks and consisted of blocking out the play, assembling costumes and deciding props. 

Unfortunately, on Sept. 12, Villa gathered the Advanced Theatre students at the beginning of class to deliver the news that the rights to produce and perform the show had been revoked. A nearby theatre troupe had decided to produce the show simultaneously and, between a professional troupe and a high school theatre company, the rights went to them. 

It is typically incorporated in a script’s terms and conditions of copyright that no two companies should produce the same play within a certain area at the same time, Villa explained. She reaffirmed that this was a rare event to happen to Citrus, especially compared to the high schools closer to the theatre world of Los Angeles and Hollywood that often have to deal with abrupt cancellations, as professional troupes simply outrank them. The Advanced Theatre class was, of course, largely disappointed and upset. Upset that weeks of effort had gone to waste, and the class would have to start completely over. But, the show must go on, right?

So the class set to work, deciding on a new play to perform after all. As a group, we researched shows that personally intrigued us, compiled them into a list of considerations and returned to find more. Eventually, the class decided to produce and perform an audience-interactive murder mystery, titled “The Fatal Fifties Affair.” 

New auditions were hosted the next week, and by the following Tuesday, the new show was cast. Funnily enough, many of the actors from “The Odd Couple” were not recast into “The Fatal Fifties Affair.” For example, I was not technically cast as a character, although I was designated to play Victim #1. 

It has now been several weeks since this shift in direction and everyone has settled into their new roles and tech crews with the show. The actors have begun working on line rehearsal and character work. Set crew has been selecting props and pulling furniture, and everybody has been contributing in a meaningful way to the show. Though the first weeks lost to working on “The Odd Couple” have certainly put us behind some time, the Advanced Theatre class is still just as excited to be working on the new show. As junior Ali Sanders put it, “we are optimistic for the future.” 

The new show “Fatal Fifties Affair” will open Nov. 7 at 4 p.m., with additional performances on Nov. 9, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m.

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://laplaza.press/2019/11/04/obra-‘the-odd-couple’-cancelada,-pero-el-programa-seguira/

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