By Walker Polivka, Contributing Writer
The theatre season is just beginning here up on the hilltop and the Hilltop Players are getting ready to put on several intriguing shows this school year that will make you laugh, cry and challenge every thought in your mind.
According to Theatre Director Michael Aulick, he “selects each project for the impact it has on the program and the students.” He also said that each play he selects is “a show that he would be excited for.” The Hilltop Players will be staging four productions over the course of this academic year, ranging from a religious drama to a classic Christmas story, as well as a brand-new play and a classic Shakespearean show.
The first play of the year is “As It Is In Heaven” by Arleen Hutton. Being directed by Aulick, the play takes place in a Shaker society in Pleasant Hill, Ky. in the 1830’s. The town of Peasant Hill is very much set in its ways until a non-believer named Fanny shows up and starts behaving like they do, causing everyone in the town to be skeptical of her true intentions. With a very minimal set, a cast consisting entirely of females and a variety of acapella hymns, this play will be a wonderful way to start off the year. Showtimes for “As It is in Heaven” are Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 12 through Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.
The following play is the Christmas classic, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Based on the classic children’s story by Barbara Robinson, a Christmas pageant is thrown into chaos with the casting of the Herdman children, who are the worst behaved children in town. With lots of twists and turns along the way, the Herdman children help demonstrate to everyone what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. Showtimes for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” are Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m.
The first play of 2018 will be “18 Victoria” by up and coming playwright Cody Daigle. Three siblings, who have had a dark past and are split from their family, scramble to make amends when they find out that an asteroid will be crashing into Earth in three weeks. They must confront their past to move on, even if it means that tomorrow is not certain. Professor of Voice Maggie Balsley will work extensively with the cast to make this play a truly wonderful production. Showtimes for “18 Victoria” are Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.
The Hilltop Players will bring the academic year to a close with Shakespeare’s classic love story, “Romeo and Juliet.” The Players will bring this story to life, from its exciting beginning, to its numerous twists and turns, and finally, to the thrilling and tragic conclusion. Showtimes for “Romeo and Juliet” are April 12 and April 13 at 7:30p.m., April 19-21 at 7:30 p.m., and April 22 at 3 p.m. Aulick also said that these shows “were selected based on where we are as a program. We based it on how many students we have based on gender, class level, and their strengths and weaknesses as well.”
Artwork by Mimi Albon