De Soto actors face huge responsibility in winter play

Emma Bascom, Associate Editor

This year, De Soto High School’s winter play is The Night of January 16th. However, unlike previous and future plays, this year has an unusual twist.

The play is a court case. Karen Andre (played by junior Sydney Hoover) is on trial for murder, and it is up to the audience to decide her fate.

Twelve audience members will be selected each night to decide if Andre is guilty or not, and the play has alternate endings to go with the decision.

The main reason the play is so unique, according to director Jason Hagg, is because Defense Attorney Stevens (played by sophomore Jack Torline) and District Attorney Flint (played by sophomore Ben Pickert) have the most amount of lines and the two largest roles DHS has ever seen.

Torline and Pickert welcomed the challenge, though they were both wary of the workload.

“I was very excited. I really wanted a very large role this year … Then I got the script over winter break and just went ‘Oh, jeez, I have a lot of work to do,’” Pickert said. “There was excitement, but a small amount of panic as well.”

Torline agreed, saying that he was “immediately happy” when he found out, but also knew the role would have “unreal pressure.”

Hagg understands how much workload the lawyers have to deal with, and understands how stressful the parts will be.

“Right now, the stress level shouldn’t be so bad. Two weeks from now? It will be an incredible amount of stress,” Hagg said. “That stress level is going to go up tremendously and the pressure from me will go up. The pressure from the whole show is just going to be hard for the guys to handle.”

Hagg says that nonverbal acting is going to be very important for the lawyers, because their backs will be to the audience for a portion of the show, considering that the set has to be similar to a court room.

“The nonverbal acting for them is going to be huge. It’s all hands and hand movements. They really have to mean [their lines].” Hagg said. “The problem is that you can’t see our lawyers until they’re physically asking questions because their backs are going to be to them.”

Overall, Hagg knows that all of the stress will be worth it when people come to see the show (playing March 2-5).

“I really want people to come see this. It’s a very unique play we’re doing here, so I really want people to come see it,” Hagg said. “I think it’s going to look great when it’s done.”

Hagg also recognizes that a lot of people come to see the musical, but not many come to the plays.

“Most people come see the musical, but they can’t see our kids at their very best. Our acting shows are our kids at their best. This is real, dramatic acting for our kids, and I’m excited that our kids have the ability to do this.” Hagg said. “I really hope a lot of people come see our show, because our kids deserve recognition. They need to see how good they are, because to me, they mean everything in the world.”