Special to the Tribune
The Sequoyah High School Drama Department decided to forgo its usual fall musical this year and instead present a drama that depicts the night Henry David Thoreau spent in jail.
“The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” is a two-act play that relives the author’s memories. It will premiere at Sequoyah High School on Wednesday and continue with performances on Thursday and Saturday. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the theater.
Gerald Parker, head of the drama department, chose the play because of its historic background and how Thoreau’s ideals relate to current events in U.S. government.
Thoreau was a 19th century philosopher and author who has influenced many great minds such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Upton Sinclair. Thoreau is known for his free thinking and anarchist-like ideals that were influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau’s ideas on religion, human curiosity, human existence, and transcendentalism are explored throughout the production.
The actors must embody everything their character represents, members of the cast said.
“Everyone knows their character personally,” said Mich Peterson, who plays Deacon Ball, the conservative deacon of the school committee where Thoreau teaches.
“For this type of show, you have to know your character,” Peterson said.
Sequoyah’s drama department won second place in the Region Competition of 2012 and 2011, first place in the Sub-region Competition of 2011 and best actor and best actress in the 2012 and 2011 Region Competition.
“This show is greatly difficult and Parker feels that, with the proper preparation, this play may be the great way to achieve the trophy at Region which we have worked hard each year at winning.” said Megan Ray, the stage manager for the production.
This year’s competition takes place Oct. 26. Admission at the door is $7 and advance tickets are on sale at Sequoyah High School for $5.