Senior Class Play: Showboat

The senior class play for 1976 was the musical "Showboat." The cover of the original musical score shows Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel upper right and Ava Gardner lower. Courtesy of Dot Neely.
The senior class play for 1976 was the musical “Showboat,” by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerone Kern and based on the novel by Edna Ferber. The cover of the original musical score shows Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel upper right and Ava Gardner lower. Courtesy of Dot Neely.

Theatrical Productions

Annie Sullivan, played by Leslie Lane, and Kate Keller, played by Sylvia Blyholder, aid Helen Keller, played by Charlene McKee, as she struggles in her dark world, from "The Miracle Worker."
Annie Sullivan, played by Leslie Lane, and Kate Keller, played by Sylvia Blyholder, aid Helen Keller, played by Charlene McKee, as she struggles in her dark world, from “The Miracle Worker.”
Vickie Hileman applies Sean Harison's make-up while finished product Mike Smith puffs on a cigarette.
Vicki Hileman applies Sean Harison’s make-up while finished product Mike Smith puffs on a cigarette.
Annibel, played by Becky Segers, exclaims over the condition of the house while Kimber, played by Mike Smith, hangs on to his suspenders in the beginning of "George Washington Sletp Here."
Annibel, played by Becky Segers, exclaims over the condition of the house while Kimber, played by Mike Smith, hangs on to his suspenders in the beginning of “George Washington Sletp Here.”
Rick Bashor and Theresa Smith pass the time playing chess during a scene from "George Washington Slept Here."
Rick Bashor and Theresa Smith pass the time playing chess during a scene from “George Washington Slept Here.”

Playing Around

The theatre darkened, the curtain opened and the play entertained the audience for a little while.

What they saw was the finished product of many weeks of work. The actors were only the beginning; sets had to be built, costumes and props acquired, make-up created, lights and sound coordinated.

Behind the scenes of three plays was Mrs. Pat Collier, directing members of the Drama Department. “George Washington Slept Here,” a comedy, was presented in the fall. “American Names,” a Bicentennial program given in February, included scenes from three famous American plays, “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” “Our American Cousin” and “The Miracle Worker.” The senior play was planned for late spring.

Out of the footlights, members of the Creative Drama classes went to local elementary schools where they involved children in the basics of drama by having them tell a story with pantomime and sound effects.

Competitively, drama students went with the Debate Squad to the University of Arkansas tournament where they performed the Reader’s Theatre “Johnny Pye and the Fool Killer.” They also took “Star Spangle and Company” to state.

Summing up the year, senior Sylvia Blyholder said, “It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.”

Curtain. Applause!

— 1976 Amethyst