Independence High School (IHS) Knight Theatre is gearing up for their first show of the year. They will be performing, “Thanks, Awfully” on September 23-25.
“This is one of the first true comedies that we’ve done in a very long time, so it’s presented a lot of really good opportunities and challenges for all of our students, as well as myself, to push ourselves out of our comfort zone,” theatre teacher Christine McClung said.
Many students are taking on new roles this year; students who are usually onstage are now helping out backstage.
“With every change of year, we see different mentalities, different patterns, different habits forming,” McClung said. “We have such a strong department that is so positive and ready to go get it, whether it’s on the stage acting or helping out in tech lead, every kid is just so excited to be part of something and so appreciative to be part of something.”
To create a more intimate atmosphere, the audience will be sitting on stage with the actors, less than one foot away.
“I’m so excited to see what it’s like to have a full house,” technology theatre teacher Stephanie Brownie said. “Especially for a comedy, because comedies aren’t funny unless people are side-by-side laughing. I love when people are packed in laughing together.”
Last year, the theatre had to wait until January for their fall show due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m honestly just really excited to be able to do a fall show again,” senior cast member Allison Bishop said. “Fall shows [are] always so special because [the cast is] smaller, so that company really gets to become its own family.”
Last year, COVID-19 restrictions only allowed 25-50% of full capacity. However, this year, they will be able to perform at full capacity.
“It’s not the same feeling getting out there and acting [in front of] 25 percent [or] 50 percent as many people [as] you could have,” Bishop said. “Just having the opportunity to share a story with way more people, and just really that live interaction, because as an actor you get to feed off that live audience.”
Allison Bishop plays “Anne” in the show, along with taking care of design and publicity.
“Last year was especially hard on our department,” Bishop said. “Coming into the year [has just been] a 180 flip, it’s just been some place that we all come to feel joy again.”