Creswell, Education

CHS Drama’s ‘Scariest Play Ever’ a spooky, spoofy romp

Gini Davis/The Creswell Chronicle The ghost of Effie (Brielle Brick), an old washerwoman locked in a basement to die many years ago, returns to haunt the house in which she died in ”Paranormal Sensitivity.” Gini Davis/The Creswell Chronicle

Creswell High School’s Drama Club spoofed well-known horror flicks in ”The Scariest Play Ever,” penned by Craig Sodaro and directed by CHS teacher Gary Jones.
The premise of the play, performed May 8-9 in the CHS commons, involves film producer C.C. Bellows (Katie McKillop) being pitched four possible ”new” movie ideas that all seem strangely familiar …
”What the public wants is the same old thing – what they’ve seen before,” Bellows insists to assistant Dee Dubarry (Sophia Janezic). And when it comes to horror movies, ”They just can’t get enough.”
The first pitch is ”Calamityville Horror,” directed by Portia Phibes (Amy Meyers). A hapless family – dad Bernie (Sammy Kenworthy), mom Bernice (Natalie Edwards), and daughters Bonnie (Emma Kersgaard), Becky (Julianne Kersgaard) and Benny (Brielle Brick) – purchases a ramshackle old house from real estate agent Ms. Bently (Lilly Heltman).
When the family reports hearing animal growls and howls, Ms. Bently admits the house was built over a pet cemetery that included a passel of circus animals killed in a long-ago train crash.
The family enlists psychic Madame Marconi (Raina Davis), who successfully rids the house of the animals’ spirits – but soon a zombie couple (Jackson Velarde and Mikiah Southmayd) arrive to rid the house of the family, too …
In ”Saturday the 14th,” directed by Chucky McDuffy (Meyers), a group of college friends arrive at rustic Crystal Lake Lodge, owned by Mr. Ominuss (Luke Vaughn), where a ghostly hockey player named Jacob is rumored to wreak havoc.
Once settled in, Blake (Josiah Lee) and Ethan (Hugo Taura) secretly don hockey masks to scare the girls – Payton (Josie Petrasek), Camilla (Emily McBeth), Maya (Chalyn Michelson) and Layla (Lily Lamm). But Jacob (Joshua Jenkins) soon arrives to claim the friends as his latest victims …
In ”Paranormal Sensitivity,” directed by Renee Reifenweiller (Meyers), Monty (Joseph Lanz), a young man obsessed with movie making moves his wife Marcia (Davis) into a reportedly haunted house.
While Marcia hosts a bridal shower for her sister Belinda (Heltman), they and guests Sabrina (Edwards), Allison (Emma Kersgaard) and Zoe (Julianne Kersgaard) are terrified by spooky sounds emanating from Monty’s hidden friend Jared (Jackson Nickel) – a setup designed to allow Monty to film the women’s fright.
But Monty gets his comeuppance when the ghost of Effie, and old washerwoman locked up and left to die in the house’s basement many years ago, arrives to inflict the same fate on Monty …
In the final proposal, ”Nightmare on Oak Street,” directed by Sabrina Frost, high school friends Brooke (Lamm), Alexa (Michelson), Kylie (McBeth), Brooke’s younger brother Ian (Nickel) and his friend Logan (Kenworthy) desperately try not to fall asleep, as it’s the 200th anniversary of the disappearance of a young brother and sister from a house where every door and window was locked from the inside.
All eventually succumb to dreamland, where they’re visited by ghostly blade-fingered choirmaster Friederik Krugler (Jenkins), intent on auditioning them for his spectral choir. If they make the ”cut,” they’ll never wake up. Fortunately, their horrendous voices spare them that fate, and Krugler instead ”auditions” the neighbor’s dog since, he says, ”the dog at least howls on pitch.”
Sure enough, Brooke and Ian’s mother (Southmayd) reports in the morning that the neighbor’s dog has gone missing
Jones credited the success of the mid-January drama production, ”12 Angry Jurors,” with sparking increased student interest in the Drama Club, which has had 28 members this year. Those numbers prompted Jones to plan a spring production that could accommodate a large cast.
”I searched for a fun show with a lot of characters, and that’s how I found ‘The Scariest Play Ever,’ ” Jones said. ”The kids worked hard preparing for this production, learning their parts and helping build sets. They did a great job and I’m so proud of them.”



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