Students star in dramatic and musical theater around the diocese. (photo credit: failing_angel via photopin cc)
Students star in dramatic and musical theater around the diocese. (photo credit: failing_angel via photopin cc)

In October, I treated myself to a high school drama on a whim. It was money well-invested. The play was about a group of high school students — not a stretch so far — putting on a play.

The remarkable acting came in each student’s ability to progress with their character as the second act went to the dress rehearsal of the production and the the third act the final production. All the while, the director and the playwright kept making often hilarious edits to the script. To have to memorize lines once as an actor seems to be challenging enough without having to remember the edits in a future scene.

Last week, I saw a musical in which an ensemble cast had to be on stage and in character the whole production. It featured great acting and timely humor woven into a classic script.

Now it’s your turn to check out the acting abilities of our Catholic high school students and one parish youth group. Consider  ordering tickets for any or all of the following:

  • Godspell — Test your knowledge of the Gospel of Matthew as students act out and discuss the meaning of various passages in this well-known musical.
    7 p.m. Feb. 14-15 at Seton Catholic Preparatory in Chandler (map).
    Related column about how the lead actor prepared to play the part of Jesus.
    Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students. Call (480) 963-1900, ext. 2036
  • Urinetown — Despite the difficult title, says it’s a “hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom! “
    7 p.m. Feb. 21 and 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 22. Also 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and 2 and 7 p.m. March 1 at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale (map).
    Tickets: $15 adults and $10 students. Order online.
  • Murder on the Verde — Teenagers at St. Thomas More Parish in Glendale (map) will host their first Murder Mystery Dinner that promises to be a hilarious evening of sleuthing. Their original production, “Murder on the Verde,” is an original and plays one night only with dinner served between acts.
    4 p.m. March 2. Tickets: $15 each after all Masses and at the parish office. Call (623) 566-8222.
  • Sense and Sensibility — The stage production of the 1811 Jane Austen novel by the same name follows the lives of the three Dashwood sisters and their mother after their father’s death. The clashes between these women and the other heirs, class status, gender roles in the 1800s, and romantic entanglements all make for a delightful evening of theatre.
    7 p.m. March 6-8 and 2 p.m. March 8 at Xavier College Preparatory (map)
    Tickets: $7. Call (602) 240-3161, email or buy at the door
  • A Shayna Maidel — Barbara Lebow’s play is about two sisters — a Nazi concentration camp survivor and one raised as an American — who re-unite in 1946 after a separation of almost 20 years. It’s billed as a deeply personalized study of sisterhood, family and a crisis of faith.
    March 6-8 at St. Mary’s High School (map)
    Tickets: $5 at the door
  • Peter Pan —Enjoy or relive the original 1954 Broadway production showcasing the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” and rousing adventure full of magic and warmth.
    7 p.m. March 20-22 at Xavier College Preparatory (map)
    Tickets: $7. Call (602) 240-3161, email or buy at the door
  • How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying — This musical satire of big business follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook “to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive, tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the aggressively compliant “company man,” the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love,” according to
    7 p.m. April 4-5 and 2 p.m. April 6. Also April 10-11 and April 13 at Bourgade Catholic High School (map)