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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Depot Theater Company's student division presents 'Persephone'

  •      "Persephone," a comedy by Ford Ainsworth, will be presented at the Depot Theater's Destination Center Stage, the company's youth theater division.  The play will be presented in the Homestead Theater Aug. 10-12, with evening performances on Friday and Saturday and a matinee Sunday.


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  •      "Persephone," a comedy by Ford Ainsworth, will be presented at the Depot Theater's Destination Center Stage, the company's youth theater division.  The play will be presented in the Homestead Theater Aug. 10-12, with evening performances on Friday and Saturday and a matinee Sunday.
         "Persephone," drawn from stories in Greek mythology, tells the story of how the year came to be divided into four seasons.
         "Well, we were looking for a fun, whimsical comedy that the kids would enjoy working on and the audience would enjoy seeing," said Cale Morrow, director of the production in an interview Monday.
         Morrow, a senior at DCHS, is a veteran of many musicals and plays there as well as shows at Boot Hill and the Depot.
         When Morrow decided to enter the Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas competition sponsored by Koch Industries, he decided to make a youth camp for kids his model for a business plan.
         Morrow traveled to Wichita earlier this summer to meet the other 30 finalists in the Kansas/Missouri region and was named first place winner.  In addition to a cash award of $2,500, Morrow got to meet Skip Yowell, founder of Jansport Backpacks.
         "When he found out I was from Dodge City, he told me he knew Dennis Hopper because he had supplied all the backpacks for 'Easy Rider,'" Morrow said.
         Connie Penick, director of the Depot Theater Company, read about Morrow's accomplishment in the Globe and invited him to direct the summer student production.
         "My original plan was for a two-month theater camp that would run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., more like a day camp," Morrow said. "But I adapted almost everything else — from the budget to the lesson plans — for this project."
         Following this weekend's performances, Morrow will once again revise his plan, incorporating what he's learned this summer.  Having been named the regional winner, he take his experiences and and revisions to New York City in October for the national competition.
         "I need to make it more applicable for anywhere in the country," he said. "I think there's a market for a speaking class using theater techniques."
    Let's put on a show
         Morrow began the five-week rehearsal/camp period with the basics: Greek mythology, theater skills, tongue twisters for diction, videos of plays.
         "When we finally announced who had what parts, the kids came back the next day with everything memorized," he said.
         What has Morrow learned directing his first production?
         "Well, I have more appreciation for directors I've worked with in the past," he said. "Now I kind of get it."
         Morrow was referring to the endless list of decisions that get brought to the person in charge: what paint colors, what food to serve, what's the schedule?
    Page 2 of 2 -      "People kept asking me questions and I would usually say 'Is that my job, too?'"
         Moving 20 young actors around a small stage has also been a challenge.
         "A couple of scenes took us several days, but we got it," Morrow said.
         But when the kids hit the stage this weekend, Morrow is sure he'll be proud of them.
         "One of my goals was to make sure every kid gets the spot light sometime during the show — every kid takes a bow. That's the beauty of theater," he said.
         Morrow's crew includes Mindy Morrow — assistant director, Sherry Polkinghorn — costumes and props, Lauren Groth — summer intern, and Connie Penick — producer.
         "Persephone" will be performed Aug. 10-12 in the Homestead Theater.
         For the Friday and Saturday evening performances, doors open at 6:15 p.m. with curtain at 7 p.m. For the Sunday matinee, doors open at 1:15 p.m. and curtain is at 2 p.m.
         Tickets are $8. Seating is limited. Call (620) 225-1001 to make reservations.
     
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