Lake Forest students rehearse ‘Wild Dust’
LFHS is staging the play "Wild Dust" at the school, opening Oct. 18. Some of the cast in the play include (from left) Liza Passalino, 17, Nicole Hensel, 16, Tim Walther 16, Anna Backer, 16, and Kyra Burke, 16. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
WHAT: LFHS fall play, “Wild Dust”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 18-20
WHERE: Lake Forest High School, 1285 N. McKinley Road, Lake Forest
TICKETS: $10 adults, $5 students/seniors, free for students with activity pass
TO BUY: Visit www.lfhs.org, or buy at the door
Updated: October 11, 2012 2:24PM
LAKE FOREST — They blocked the same scene at least a dozen times to get the positioning of cast members just right, yet no one seemed worse for the wear.
“It helps to do a scene over and over. It helps you memorize your lines and get the flow down,” said Lake Forest High School junior Kate Whalley, who plays the character Hard Cora in the Theatre Department’s upcoming production of “Wild Dust,” the junior/senior fall play.
With just 10 cast members, including a dead body, the Old West farce would seem a simple one to block — position actors on the stage for best dramatic effect.
But the slapstick comedy has lots of twists and turns, door-slamming, and running up and down stairs and in and out of adjoining rooms that requires copious note-taking by student director Mollie Blahunka.
“It’s pretty complicated,” Blahunka, the holder of the blocking book, said.
Set in a brothel in the Old West, which accounts for the “mature audience” rating, keeping track of each character’s position is important to overcome the biggest challenges in the play, comic timing and pace, Director Joe Pulio said.
“When one thing ends, another thing has to start so we don’t have these drops,” Pulio said.
To that end, Pulio put the actors through their paces after school last week. The cast has been rehearsing six days a week since late August.
Senior Sara Ransom, who plays Denise, has appeared in seven plays at LFHS, from large ensembles to smaller casts.
“This is a lot more organized,” she said, which might have something to do with a smaller cast, but may reflect that only upperclassmen are involved.
“You really have to bring your ‘A game’ to rehearsal,” Ransom said. “You have to always be focused.”
For Mari Uchida, who plays Sally, practice truly does make perfect.
“By the time it’s dress rehearsal, we’ll have it down pat,” Uchida said.
Performances of “Wild Dust” are scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 18-20, at LFHS, 1285 N. McKinley Road, Lake Forest. Tickets can be purchased at www.lfhs.org.