By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
Flying books. Slamming doors. A thumping heart. A chair that rocks by itself. A floating skeleton. These are just some of the special effects in Dora High School’s drama production, “The Beating Heart.”
The free, one-night only performance is a historical gothic story which fine arts teacher and drama director, Nancy Jones, describes as “Scary in the traditional sense.”
The play is set in the deep South during the Civil War and revolves around a photograph of a young woman as a college history major travels to the woman’s last home on an old Southern plantation to unlock secrets of the young woman’s life. The tale is one of murder and revenge in which a spirit is waiting to be set free, and so throughout the play, the audience can hear the sounds of a thumping heart, trapped somewhere in the house.
The production is the first one Dora Schools has had in over a year due to construction which was recently completed.
“The show has a lot of sound effects, objects flying off the walls and lots of other visual effects,” said Jones who plays a role in the production herself and noted that the production has been a group project on the part of the students. Besides the challenges imposed by producing the special effects, Jones, said another challenge in a school district like Dora, is getting all of the students together to practice since many of them live in neighboring towns such as Milnesand, Rogers, Causey, Portales and Elida.
In addition, some students are having to double up on roles and play more than one character. Ethan Bilbrey plays the contrasting roles of Colin Carter and Ed Huxley which creates its own set of challenges. “Colin is a college student in his early 20s and he is a more laid-back, easy going character,” Bilbrey said. “As for Ed, he is an older guy who is a little skittish.”
Bilbrey said learning the lines for both characters hasn’t been too bad. The real work for him has been in trying to distinguish the two characters on stage.
Additional cast members include: Reyna Lopez as Nora Damon Tyrrell and Estella Garth, Rylene Danbom as Emma Damon and Sharon Clair, Corina Servin as Maggie Damon and Eula Garth, Katlain Phillips as Ivy McEwin, Savannah Dimas as Chloe Rose, Alexis Villanueva as Allen Rose, Jones as Mrs. Dyer, Chelsea Gantert as Allie Ann Huxley and Charlotte Clair and Steve Lopez as the Yankee officer. In addition, Reyna Lopez and Colby Lee are in charge of props and Claudia Ordonez in charge of the program handout.
Who: Dora High School Drama Club
What: “The Beating Heart,” A mystery thriller play by Craig Sodaro
When: 6:30 p.m. tonight, one-performance only
Where: Dora High School Auditorium
Admission: Free. Public is welcome.