On stage in November, Seaside High School will present its fall play “The Craving: A Horrific Comedy in Two Acts” by Don Zolidis. Performances are slated for Nov. 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. Rehearsals began Sept. 18.
This year’s cast and crew will include both actors and techies with a total group of about 20 students. Directing “The Craving” will be English teacher Susan Baertlein, assisted by student alumni Isabella Curcin and Chloe Kincaid from the class of 2015.
When asked how plays are chosen, Baertlein explained, “We consider many factors, but the primary ones are sets, costumes and the number of actors. Many plays have extremely large casts, elaborate costumes or props, or require an actual auditorium. As a smaller program, there are certain plays and musicals that will just be a better fit for us. The message and themes of the plays are also important.”
Baertlein chose “The Craving” for its humor. She said she could envision the students in the roles as she read the script, and noted that playwright Don Zolidis had also written the last two fall plays performed at the school. This will be Baertlein’s first time directing a high school play and she hopes to see “the students grow in their capacity as actors, become a great team and have fun.”
Before coming to Seaside High School, Baertlein worked at Douglas McKay High School in Salem. This will be her sixth year at Seaside and in addition to teaching English, she is the co-advisor to the junior class. In the past, Baertlein has taught drama, yearbook production, speech and debate.
Baertlein also took acting classes during her undergrad studies at Linfield College. “I’m not wholly unprepared, but this will be a big learning curve for me nonetheless.”
The play reveals screenwriter Terry Morris’ heartwarming and emotional journey to writing his first screenplay. His dreams are answered when a Hollywood studio decides to produce it, but the dream turns into a nightmare as they transform his script into a zombie slasher flick.
“The Craving” is full of character development and interesting characters — an over the top, stereotypical parody of pop culture — a fast-paced, horrific comedy that’s sure to entertain for an hilarious night of theater. “I am very excited to see this script come to life with our talented, hardworking students,” Baertlein said. “Plus, we get to pretend to be zombies.”