By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Theatre is back at Picture Butte High School, with the fine arts program presenting a dramedy.
Titled ‘The Incomplete Life and Random Death of Molly Denholtz’, the play is set during the funeral of a girl named Molly, who passed away in a car accident. Her fellow students are in grief and mourning, and no matter their relationship, or lack of, with her, they are all dealing with their feelings about her death.
While past plays have leaned firmly towards comedy, PBHS drama teacher and director Mark Ogle said the play was chosen because the students wanted a bigger challenge.
“I’ve done three shows in my time at PBHS, all fun and campy comedies. At the end of last school year, my actors asked if we could try something with more substance to it, characters they could connect with, and push themselves,” said Ogle.
Ogle noted the play does contain heavy subject matter, and he and the students have held long conversations over how they would approach the matter with respect and care, while not making light of the situation. Where the comedic elements come into play, however, is with the relationships and conversations that exist between the characters, with Ogle adding that them being awkward teenagers helps too.
Posters for the play caution viewers that it contains discussions on death, suicide, bullying and sexuality.
Ogle said rehearsals have been going well, although there may be some nerves as opening night approaches. However, the young actors have been hard at work and “finding connections and bringing energy, truth, and authenticity to their characters”.
The Incomplete Life is the first play to be held at the school since 2019. Ogle noted there had been a lot of back-and-forth over whether to hold the play this year, before deciding to go forward with it.
“Having extra-curricular activities back this year has been great for the students, but also for the teachers, parents, and community as a whole. It’s brought an exciting buzz throughout the school for this great event coming up in April,” said Ogle. “This play has a great message and is something everyone can relate to. The courage and vulnerability of my kids to get up on stage and perform is phenomenal and it would be great to see the community be supportive of them. They truly deserve it. I couldn’t have asked for better actors or students.”
‘The Incomplete Life and Random Death of Molly Denholtz’ will go April 11-13, at 7 p.m. at PBHS. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, with the proceeds going back into the school’s fine arts program.
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