PHS students gearing up for performance

Alisa Boswell

Portales High School students are gearing up for their second time performing the play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” which will be performed at the Lyceum Theatre in Clovis this weekend.

Theater teacher Bill Strong said the students did a wonderful job their first time around, but attendance was down due to other community events and lack of advertising.

“The Importance of Being Earnest was what the girls wanted to do,” Strong said. “I actually thought it would be too hard for them and they proved me wrong.”

Strong said he has been trying to get the students into a new performance hall for a few years but has been unable to do so for lack of funds.

“Performing in a new venue gives them an opportunity to have a different type of audience,” Strong said. “The acoustics are different, the size of the stage, the lights. They’re very excited about it.”

Student Braden Terry said he plays Algernon Moncrieff, a character of witty arrogance.

“One of the most challenging parts of my character is he’s really arrogant, so I have to be arrogant towards everyone,” Terry said. “That and eating while trying to say lines.”

“I relate most to him because he’s always hungry,” Terry added, laughing.

Terry said performing on a different stage with a different setting sounds challenging but he does not feel worried.

“I love it. This is the biggest part I’ve done in my life,” Terry said. “Memorizing the lines has been really easy because Rebecca’s been a lot of help. Everything’s been going great. We all work really well together.”

Rebecca Waller is getting to shine on stage instead of behind the scenes for this production.

Waller said for the first play, she worked as a technician. But this time around she is playing the role of Rev. Cannon Chasuble.

“I’ve had roles before but they were minor roles,” Waller said. “This is my first big role. I’m pretty excited. I know my lines pretty well because I was an understudy before.”

Waller said the challenge with her character is finding anything at all to relate to.

“My character is male and extremely religious,” she said. “Mostly, before I go on stage, I try to picture what his life was like before. I imagine he had a really great family who were really supportive of him.”

Waller said she is excited about performing at the Lyceum.

“It’s a whole new thing and a wonderful experience,” she said.

All students involved with the play worked very hard their first time around and are working just as hard for their upcoming production, according to Strong.

“They amaze me at what they can accomplish. They are very dedicated,” Strong said. “I anticipate it’s going to be every bit as good as the first time we performed it.”