Hallie Gates and Keagan Kantor celebrate their performance after Mamma Mia. “I’m looking forward to seeing what show we pick…, and being an upperclassman, being able to be that leader that the underclassman look to for some advice,” said Kantor. (photo by Kristy Gates)
Hallie Gates and Keagan Kantor celebrate their performance after Mamma Mia. “I’m looking forward to seeing what show we pick…, and being an upperclassman, being able to be that leader that the underclassman look to for some advice,” said Kantor.

photo by Kristy Gates

Co-sponsors named for next musical

April 20, 2020

After Mamma Mia hit Meridian’s stage in May, 2019, the program said goodbye to sponsor Sheila Moore. She thought she was done with drama for good. That is no longer the case.

Moore directed 11 Meridian shows from 2012 until she stepped down in 2019. After current director Chelsea Stewart stepped down to pursue a different path, Moore decided to step in for one year and one year only.

“This program is incredibly important to me. I want to see it continue to grow and watch students do what they love, so I am excited to work with co-sponsor, Christina Wherley and teach her the ropes for one year. Then I look forward to seeing what she does with it after that,” Sheila Moore said.

Moore is working to train fellow colleague and friend, Christina Wherley to take the program over for the 2021-22 school year, hoping to give her the best tips and tricks to produce a great show.

“I can tell the drama program is really important to Mrs. Moore and that was one of the things that persuaded me to help was that Mrs. Moore feels that the drama program at Meridian is really good,” Wherley said. “And I just wanted to keep a part of that tradition.”

Wherley is not the only new face to the program, after former vocal director, Erica Dowd, moved after her wedding, new chorus teacher Susan Hagen stepped up to fill the spot.

“I’ve done vocal directing for Legally Blonde the Musical, Shrek the musical, Addams Family, and Grease. I played Grandma Addams in Addams family as well,” Hagan said. “I would much rather help with musicals or play an instrument in a pit orchestra than be in a musical! I love the preparation of a musical and all the behind the scenes work.”

This year will bring a whole new look as Moore has not worked with the incoming sophomores, freshman, Wherley, or Hagan other than in a classroom setting.

“As much as I look forward to working with Wherley and Hagan, I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with many of the cast I’ve grown to love. Next year’s juniors have a special place in my heart because I’ve been able to spend time with them in class over the last year,” said Moore. “Personalities like Keagan Kantor, Madison Sapp, Maria Steiling, Ellie Fitzpatrick, Emery Johnson, Laney and Lexi Jones. These kids are amazing and driven. It will be an honor to work with them one more time.”

Wherley is excited to learn and share the experience, know Hagan better, and be the best person to help the program grow. Hagan is looking forward to working with the students outside of chorus.

Drama no Moore


photo by Brian Reed

Sydney Moore’s shadow box for her senior send-off. Seniors receive a shadow box at the closing of their final Meridian show. Non-senior drama members create and present this special gift for their friends.

May 5, 2019 marks the end of Meridian teacher Sheila Moore’s run as director of Meridian High School’s Drama Program. Moore’s run ends with her favorite show so far, Mamma Mia!, which has been her eleventh show.

Through all 11 of her shows, Moore has had someone special standing by her side every step of the way, not just in drama, but also in life, her daughter Sydney Moore.

Sydney has been in every one of Sheila’s shows since she was in grade 7, and only recently started taking part in the cast. In the past, Sydney has been the stage manager when Sheila couldn’t find anyone willing to help out.

Each show that Sheila has directed, she has grown close to a set of seniors whom she then had to say goodbye to for the last time.

From beginning to end, Moore has done whatever she can to help her students, she even brought back the drama program for the students.

“I had a group of students who wanted a drama program, and we hadn’t had one for a while,” and so Moore decided to take the situation into her own hands, but she finally has decided to stop so she can spend more time with her family, and do more things with her journalism class.

This being her last show, there are some students whom she has grown close to who she can no longer work with.

“I could cry over the fact that I can’t work with Abbey, Keagan, Zoey to name a couple,” said Moore. She had some students who she also wish she could’ve had for longer in drama such as Evan Dawson and Kailyn Hughes.

Next year’s replacement for director is Chelsea Dunmire, English teacher and drama enthusiast. Moore had only one thing to say to her for the years to come: “Good luck.”

The spectacular Spectaculathon


photo by Corryn Brock

Backstage pass. I sit on the side of the stage watching the show as it goes on and communicating back and forth with the light and sound booth. I can see the show from all angles and can make sure it all goes smoothly. Director Sheila Moore says, “it allows for the stage manager the opportunity to be back amidst the actors.”

What happens when the princesses stop being kind and start being real?

The Brothers Grimm Spectactulathon narrators compile several of the well-known (and not so well-known) Brothers Grimm fairytales and tells them in a reverse sequence so it is a larger story connecting them all.

After a dress rehearsal with minimal errors and maximum laughter, I believe anyone who attends the show will see the amount of effort and time that went in to make this show as humorous as possible. The few mistakes that were made were quickly solved and actors worked around dead batteries and costume malfunctions to keep the show on track. Given the hours and months of dedication, I fully believe no matter what age group you are in or type of humor you have, everyone will enjoy The Brothers Grimm Spectactulathon.

Each cast member has the opportunity to shine in this show and the division of the show into smaller stories gives them all the chance to let their personalities show. Senior Karena Ozier says, “I think this show really shines the spotlight on actors people haven’t seen that much from before.”

Senior Jake Deetz says, “I like this show because it is hilarious and we’ve all worked so hard on it. You can tell by how we got into our characters and our costumes are so accurate and the makeup is top notch.”

As Stage Manager, I tend to be critical of the actors in our program so they can work to be the absolute best they can be. I can say without a doubt that all of them have made me very proud, and I would recommend that everyone come and see the show. It’s a funny show with something for every audience member to enjoy.

From new faces like Cameron Getz and Nate Durbin taking the stage to old favorites like Karena Ozier and Ian Carnahan you will love the assortment of roles MHS students will be filling. Show nights are Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m, and the house will open at 6:30.

The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe


photo by Sarah Gregory

Chill out! The icy makeup was done by Sadie Scott herself. She’ll be in charge of her own makeup, while almost all the other cast will be done by Tiffany Reed. “I do a lot of shows a year, so I like to try and improve my show makeup, so I can do it myself someday or help everyone else,” says Scott.

C.S Lewis’s novel The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, born from dreams and pure imagination, is to be performed right here in a stage adaptation at Meridian on the 17 and 18 of November. Hours of practice are being poured into this whimsical play by the hardworking actors of Meridian Senior High School, including help from one who graduated last year.

Meridian alumni Tiffany Reed is coming back once again to create the makeup looks you will soon see in November. Ms. Moore, the director, says “I wanted Tiffany as my makeup artist because she is awesome, and I wanted to work with her one more time. I’m hoping some of the younger cast will learn from her.” Even though many of the looks are known to be more advanced, Moore noted that most of the inspirations are either found on Pinterest or tutorials on YouTube.

Moore has been directing the plays and musicals for the past four years. She transferred from MacArthur to Meridian back in 2006. “I enjoy the process of the shows. I love choosing the show, picking the best person for the right spots, and making the show perfect.”

Moore has never done dramatic makeup for a play, but she says, “That’s why I have Tiffany to come and help out.” Tiffany is going to be working with several different types of makeup, from synthetic hair to fake hooves, and Moore says, “We’ve been pretty lucky with makeup. I’d say the most difficult was when Sadie Scott played a man. Changing genders is definitely a challenge,” Moore says about past makeup incidents.

Nick Shasteen who is playing Aslan, lion king of Narnia, is more than glad to be in this year’s play. “I was in plays my sixth and seventh-grade year, but continuing to perform got harder once the middle and high school combined.” Shasteen also noted that the cast was put in charge of finding and piecing together their own costumes. Shasteen meets with an actual tailor for his costume and says, “Getting the outfit together was easy since my tailor and I had the same general idea. The only thing that got tricky was the time that it takes to get the outfit together.” Shasteen is going to be wearing a mane during the play, which is being tailored to fit his head to ensure it doesn’t fall off during the performance. “We are actually using a glittery material for the mane so it shows up better on stage,” says Shasteen.

Actor Sydney Moore, who is playing the unicorn says, “I wanted to be in this one because I’ve been in all the plays, so I knew I wanted to continue performing. I only had trouble deciding what character I wanted to play.” Sydney has been acting for three years and would like to continue performing after high school. “I think it’s crazy how Tiffany can just make up someone’s look without any inspiration. That’s why she’s the one to do it.” Sydney’s makeup involves feathers, a fake mane, and PVC pipe replica of the back side of a horse.” She jokes, “When I found out, I was like ‘OK, this is going to be quite interesting,’ It’s exciting to see what we are going to do, but also kind of nerve-racking.”

Ghost The Musical: School Edition

After attending the dress rehearsal for the show last night, it is obvious that a lot of time, effort and dedication went into the making of this year’s musical. This musical is a romantic drama. Nothing is perfect, but this comes as close as you will get. There were only a few minor technical difficulties here and there, but they were not major. This musical is approximately two and a half hours long, with a fifteen-minute intermission.

A little background on the show so you are not lost when the play starts is that Sam (Jake Deetz) and Molly (Karena Ozier), are on their way back from an art show and Sam is murdered by a thief. Then Sam is still around trying to warn Molly about… If you want to find out more you will need to purchase a ticket and come on down and see for yourself, but once you are at the play you will be wanting for it to never end.

One of the main aspects of this show is the singing. The voices of the actors are divine and the choreography was amazing. Sophomore Sadie Scott, had one of the more interesting parts in the play, she plays Oda Mae Brown (a Fortune Teller). I can’t give much away, but she fulfills her role perfectly, and I highly recommend to pay close attention to her when she is on stage. When the actors are dancing they have so much energy, it really fills the auditorium with a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Only the best acting can make the audience feel something, and the cast we have does exactly that. I was getting chills during most of the songs. The voices of the people that sing in the play are almost unreal, and I would not expect them to have the voice they do. Don’t take my word for it though, you should come on down and see the play for yourself and you will understand what I am talking about.

I am not usually a big fan of musicals, but this one grabbed my attention from the very beginning. If you are going to the show, you won’t know what to expect next. The actors all took the parts they played very seriously, and it will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.  There are many different thoughts that will go through your head during this performance, and the main one being, “I was not expecting them to have a voice like that.”

Ghost The Musical will be performed two nights, November 11 and 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Many of the cast and crew are underclassmen, and they are able to bring it. Make sure you go to the show because if you don’t you might regret it after hearing about how great it was.

Meridian students get into the show for free to a show of their choice. Tickets can be purchased for $7 or $10 it depends on where you would like to be seated during the performance. Purchase your tickets in advance at www.meridiandrama.com or at the door (which opens at 6:30).



Jefferson or Burr? Choose! But, why not both?


photo by Corryn Brock

Congratulations! Tiffany Reed and Jake Deetz are showing off their IHSA 2017 All State certificates. Reed and Deetz received the award for their performances as Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson/ Marquis de Lafayette. “Making the All State cast for Group Interpretation was thrilling. Being chosen for the reward meant all of my hard work paid off,” says Reed.

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, Meridian’s drama club went to Olympia High School in Stanford, IL., where they competed against several schools in the categories drama and group interpretation.

Even though neither of the shows, Walkin’ Home or Hamilton: The Revolution, made it to the state competition, both placing sixth in their categories, there were still two great achievements for Meridian’s drama program. Junior Jake Deetz and senior Tiffany Reed made the All-State Cast for their performances in the group interpretation of Hamilton: The Revolution.

Jake Deetz, who portrayed both Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette says, “After not winning any awards for Walkin’ Home I was almost positive there would be one award at most for Hamilton, but boy was I wrong.”

Shortly after Deetz’s name was called as one of the All-State Cast members, laughter could be heard in the whole auditorium. “I felt so excited. When they called me I got up and did a little mini celebration and ran up onto the stage. Someone called me a pure angel because of my celebration.” Deetz put in a lot of hard work for this role, including giving Lafayette a French accent, which got some positive responses from the judges.

Tiffany Reed, who portrayed Hamilton’s rival Aaron Burr says, “Making the All-State cast for Group Interpretation was thrilling. Being chosen for the reward meant all of my hard work paid off.”

Reed’s preparation for her part as Burr included listening to the soundtrack and reading her lines just to get Burr’s character how she wanted it. “When I finally came up with my interpretation of Burr, I knew it was gonna be smooth sailing from there. All I had to do was memorize after that.” To be in the All-State Cast, actors need at least three of the five judges’ votes. Reed got all five votes from the judges, earning herself the award for the second year in a row.

Deetz describes his win as even more special to himself, since one of last year’s All-State Cast members included his older sister Marty Deetz, a Meridian graduate. His facebook post after the award ceremony even states, “Carrying on the Deetz tradition of winning All State awards.”

Both Deetz and Reed worked hard on their roles for both shows, with their performances in Hamilton: The Revolution winning them the All-State award.


It’s the 80’s all over again

Just friends!? Senior Haley Pagel plays the leading lady, Sherry. Pagel sang beautifully throughout the show and gave a spectacular performance.

photo by Chad Mitchell Photography

Just friends!? Senior Haley Pagel plays the leading lady, Sherry. Pagel sang beautifully throughout the show and gave a spectacular performance.

Rock of Ages, written by Chris D’Arienzo, was the perfect choice for Meridian Drama Club’s first performance in the new auditorium.

After attending the dress rehearsal for the show on Thursday evening, it is obvious a lot of time, effort and dedication went into the making of this year’s musical. Nothing is perfect, but this production comes pretty close to it. The only mishaps I was able to catch during the show was a few minor technical difficulties and a few bruises here and there, though you can’t even see them from the audience. The show is approximately two and a half hours long, including a fifteen-minute intermission, but by the end you will be wishing for it to never end.

There are aspects of the show that you cannot deny were brilliant and beautiful. The Rock of Ages set we were able to borrow from Springfield Theatre Center was superb, the voices of our actors were divine, and the choreography was wow. Seniors Nicole Cromwell, Ally Jahns, and Josselin Sheumaker came up with the choreography for the performance, and it is absolutely riveting. The dancing on stage had energy and tastefulness, filling the auditorium with a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Wat up wit dat hair? Senior Travis Robinson plays rocker Stacee Jax. Though his character's hair and personality is wild, Robinson's voice was absolutely perfect for the roll.
Chad Mitchell Photography
Wat up wit dat hair? Senior Travis Robinson plays rocker Stacee Jax. Though his character’s hair and personality are wild, Robinson’s voice was absolutely perfect for the role.

Have you ever heard of the fourth wall? The fourth wall is that wall that separates the characters and plot from the audience. Usually, this wall is left untouched by the writers, but in Rock of Ages, they took a wrecking ball to the wall. This added humor, depth, and uniqueness to the show. This wall was knocked down not once, not twice, but many times, most notably by Lonny, played by Ian Carnahan, when he narrated the show, called out a few people by name in the audience for a joke and interacted with the audience. Breaking the fourth wall really helps to involve the audience in the show, almost as if you are a part of this 80’s rocker fest yourself.

If you are going to the show be prepared to laugh. The show features many jokes by almost all of the characters, not all of which are spoken. From the witty lines between characters or said to the audience, to the hidden jokes, to senior Cole Babcock in a leotard.

Yes, Babcock in a leotard.

The show is not just a comedy though, there are multiple love stories playing out in the plot, covering different types of relationships from boy meets girl, to long distance, and even characters Lonny (Ian Carnahan) and Dennis (Beau Kallenbach) falling in love. And do not forget to watch out for Meridian’s first on-stage kiss in years!

They are bringing leotards back! Seniors Audrey Durbin (Ragina) and Cole Babcock (Franz) play the quirky and adorable couple of the show. When it comes to their singing, Durbin sounded beautiful as always and I personally did not know Babcock could make his voice go that high.
Chad Mitchell Photography
They are bringing leotards back! Seniors Audrey Durbin (Regina) and Cole Babcock (Franz) play the quirky and adorable couple of the show. When it comes to their singing, Durbin sounded beautiful as always and I personally did not know Babcock could make his voice go that high.

Have you ever become emotional over a movie or play? Only the best of acting can make the audience feel something, and our cast does exactly that. Not only was I getting chills during multiple songs (thank you Jake Deetz), but I actually began crying, and so did some of the cast when they sang “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” (seniors Carter Duffer, Lauren Duffer, Audrey Durbin, Cole Babcock, Haley Pagel, and Travis Robinson, and sophomore Jake Deetz).

There are many different thoughts that will go through your mind during this performance. Possibilities including, but not limited to: “What is he wearing? I didn’t know he could make his voice go so high, and, “How do they have so much energy?”.

Rock of Ages will only be performing for two nights, March 4 and 5, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Many of the cast and crew are seniors, making this their last year in Drama. Make sure you witness the show before their final curtain call, or you might regret not doing so later.

Meridian students get in free for the show with their activity pass, and tickets can be purchased for either $7 or $10 at www.meridiandrama.com.

Get ready to rock Meridian, because the 80’s are here.

Oh, and there’s a dog, too. In case that persuades you to see it more.

My life: By “The Audition”


photo by Sheila Moore

Two hours later… The Drama Club piled into the Meridian school bus to compete at the Drama Sectionals. The students would arrive at Belleville West High School after a two hour long bus ride. Junior Andrea Ricker says, “We listened to showtunes throughout the ride.”

New drama members showed off their talents on Friday, March 18, at Belleville West High School, in Belleville, Illinois, to attempt advancing to state in the drama sectionals.

Even though Rock of Ages (RoA) may be over, there’s still plenty of action for the Meridian Drama Club. Many thespians, new and old, came together last Friday to compete against other drama clubs all around Illinois. Each club was given a specific set of rules to follow while participating in the competition. For example, the show must not be longer than 40 minutes and 30 seconds; for every 30 seconds you exceed, points will be deducted.

The show chosen by Director Sheila Moore, simply titled The Audition, takes place during a typical high school audition day and the days that follow. The 38 minute one act show is filled with humor, real-life teenage struggles, and a determined boy in leg warmers.

Moore explained her decision-making process was based on a few factors, “Well, it had to be a certain time limit and they do not allow musicals so we could not use anything from Rock of Ages, which we were prepared for, so we needed something easy to learn.”

While the show may have been shorter and less musically-involved than RoA, many actors agreed that the practices for the competition were intense in their own way. Actress and senior Marty Deetz, who played “different girl” Soleil, agreed that, “some parts were frustrating because sometimes not everyone was there, but now everyone is here and getting their lines down, so it’s getting quicker and a little bit more fun, especially now that I have my lines down.”

Deetz recalls that the hardest lines to remember were very repetitive and paragraphs chunked together. Many of the leading parts had the same difficult style of dialogue, but the cast met the challenge with a smile and then some.

Sophomore actor Ian Carnahan, who played Yuma, was dressed in neon tights and fuzzy leg warmers and caused quite a few dancing disruptions. While his lines were simple, it was the dancing that really made his character come alive. All it took was a little sprinkler here, pencil sharpener there, and a quick whip to finish it off.

Moore mentioned that she can’t wait to work with him and the other returning actors next year, as well as newcomers to the drama program. Actress Mackenzie Kallenbach, sophomore, said that she wanted to be a part of this show because she has always had an interest in drama and hopes to be in the production next year as a possible lead.

On March 19, Moore received word from the judges and, unfortunately, Meridian will not be advancing to state after sectionals due to their 6th place finish. However, three of our actors have been chosen to be a part of the All-State Drama Team! Special congratulations to Tiffany Reed (who played Ms. Torrence), Ian Carnahan (who played Yuma), and Marty Deetz (who played Soleil) on their selection to the team.

Les Miserables – “In your face”

Caution: Open Flame! While the flames may not have been real, the male cast of Les Miserables was able to open up the audience to the sorrow on stage. The significance of that scene was where it really calmed down and the fighting seized, says Ben Kersey (Combferre).

photo by Chad Mitchell

Caution: Open Flame! While the flames may not have been real, the male cast of Les Miserables was able to open up the audience to the sorrow on stage. “The significance of that scene was where it really calmed down and the fighting seized,” says Ben Kersey (Combferre).


You’re a saint monsieur! When Jean Valjean was in his alternate identity, Monsieur Madeleine, he dedicated his life to helping others, like using his super prison strength to lift a heavy cart off of a trapped man. Elijah Boliard tells how it felt to be trapped under the cart by saying, “It was different, it was unique.”

Chad Mitchell

When the students, teachers, and community members heard of Mrs. Sheila Moore’s decision to produce Les Miserables they were skeptical. Many people did not think that Meridian’s Drama Club could pull off such a hard and long musical. Many individuals believed that the Drama Club would fail to put on an exceptional show for them. When asked if any part of the musical surpassed his expectations, Mr. Paul Carlton said, “Oh, all of it, all of it. To pull this off is very ambitious. So, it’s very, very, very well done.” I think I speak on behalf of the entire Drama Club when I say we appreciate all three of Carlton’s “very’s”. Mr. Brian Pekovitch, when asked the same question stated, “Definitely the vocals on this. To do a musical, really an opera, where they’re going to sing their entire part and be able to tell the whole story was pretty impressive. Made me a little nervous when they said they were doing this one. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a kinda [insert nervous chuckle here] high one to do.’”

Even with so many people predicting the failure of the musical, a large cast of talented students came together. Students such as Audrey Durbin, Reba Ozier, Ally Jahns, and many more said that their reason for joining was their love for the production. Lauren Duffer, Haley Pagel, and Travis Robinson also mentioned how they really enjoyed the singing portion. Jake Deetz wished to continue a tradition of performing in the plays, mentioning how he was even in “Grease” last year, even though he was still an eighth grader. Nicole Cromwell expressed her interest in joining due to her desire to spend time with her friends as well as sing. Dalton Collins said his reasoning behind joining was, “The wonderful and beautiful Mrs. Moore, of course. Because she told me in the summer that this role was for me and she wasn’t really gonna have anybody else do it. So I couldn’t let her down. You know? Couldn’t let her down.” Not only was Collins eager to fulfill Moore’s wishes of him being the Master of the House, but he also convinced Colten Day to join.

Contrary to what some may believe, this performance did not just magically come together over night, or even over the course of a whole month. Moore explained that to her the hardest part about putting the production together was all the different schedules, especially since the majority of Drama students were involved in other activities such as track, baseball, soccer, etc. The cast members gave a variety of responses as to what their biggest challenge was. While some had difficulty memorizing their lyrics or learning to hit certain notes, some others had to overcome a bit of stage fright. Even though the cast had to go through some rough patches to create the final product, they had a blast in doing so. A good amount of the cast noted the time that Morgan Menges ripped his pants during dress rehearsal and had to go through a whole scene with ripped bottoms. This experience also provided everyone with musical and acting ability and long lasting friendships.

When watching the performance on that chilly March weekend, the audience got a lovely surprise, and not just because the Lovely Ladies decided to make an appearance. The cast was able to pull everything together wonderfully and keep in character the whole time. Pekovitch explained that his seat on the second night was in the far back in the balcony, yet he could still hear the actor’s clearly and see their facial expressions from such a distance, helping to prove that the cast was successful in getting into character and staying strong. The chemistry on the stage was undeniable and many audience members were brought to tears multiple times. Watching the musical unfold with a big stage, beautiful props, amazing acting, and riveting plot helped to envelope the audience in the emotional and dramatic June Rebellion.

When asked for final thoughts Moore said, “When I initially announced this or was thinking about it, we had a lot of family or people in the district that said there was no way that it could be pulled off. I hope they got a chance to come see the show because it certainly did get pulled off.” With how well performed and put together Les Miserables ended up being, Moore has all rights to say, “In your face.”

High School (non) Musical review


photo by Sheila Moore

High School (non) Musical cast members promote their show by wearing costumes to school. Meridian Drama Club will perform their fall comedy on November 14 & 15 @ 7 p.m. The play will take place at Decatur First Church of the Nazarene, 1177 W. Hickory Point Rd., Decatur (as the high school does not currently have a stage). Amy Aukamp, who has three roles in the show and plays basketball, states, “it’s difficult to make everyone happy at the same time [coaches], but your commitments are equal- you have to stay balanced. It prepares you for the real world and will prepare me for more difficult situations in the future.”

If you want something to do this Friday or Saturday, then you should definitely go see High School (non) Musical starring Boyd Mathias as Toy Boatin and Andrea Ricker as Gaberella. It is a must see play. It opens in November on Friday and Saturday (14,15). It is located at the First Church of Nazarene.

It is packed full of comedy and good acting. The director, Sheila Moore, couldn’t have picked better leads. “The idea is really cool of it being a non musical, it sounds funny enough already,” says a Meridian student, Kimmy Spiker. The plot kind of lost me at parts because it gets random, but I found myself constantly chuckling.

Not only was the play good, but the environment was nice too. It might sound silly, but whenever I go to plays, one thing I judge is how good the chairs are and the chairs were very comfy with a lot of padding. This wasn’t a normal play with props to go with the location of the scene this play doesn’t have any there, it has a projector that puts an image of the location of the scene on the wall which is very cool. The transitions between scenes were nice, smooth, and took little time. The costumes were nicely made and fit into the scenes well. Being a small town school play, you might think some things might be cheap, but it’s not! The equipment was good. There was good lighting and cool effects. The sound was good- usually that’s a problem with plays with not being able to hear the actors or actresses, but this was not the case.

I only saw the rehearsal, and if that was good, then the real play has to be good as well. There is no way I will miss this play and nobody else should either. The play was a good length and the actors did a very good job of remembering their lines. “I’m really excited to see it, I know they’ve put a lot of work into it and it should be good,” says Katie Petrowsky, a student at Meridian who plans on attending. If you’re a student at Meridian with an activity pass, then you can get in for free, otherwise it costs $5. The Drama Club should really consider adding another comedy play to the list with as good as this one is.

Drama’s big move


photo by Sheila Moore

What are those moves? This year’s drama play is Grease. The students from Meridian High School have moved to the First Church of the Nazarene to practice some dance moves. Drama director Sheila Moore hired a professional swing dancing teacher so they will be able to learn how to officially swing dance before the play. “It’s the nerves, I’ll be nervous because a bigger venue means more people. I’m good with people, so I’ll adapt and overcome, says Senior Tim Macomb who plays Sonny.

“You’re a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on you!.” Freshman Hannah Wetzel received the lead role of Sandy Dumbrowski in the 2014 Grease play, the school version.  Meridian High School is piecing together the Grease play. After a few years of not having a director for the school plays, Drama teacher, Sheila Moore took the spot of being the director for this year’s school play. The previous plays at Meridian have had an average turn out. This year as Moore takes the role in being the director, she encourages her drama class to make the play known.

One of the ways Moore is getting people involved is making fliers, posters, getting it known to the public through all the media sources, and also moving the school play to a more open, public place, The First Church of the Nazarene. After asking actor Tim Macomb what he likes most about performing at the church he responded, “The quality of the set, it’s a much nicer set-up than the school.” Moore talked with the church and told  them the school would have to come up with a way to make a stage in order for the play to happen. Meridian High School is going through construction at the moment, so the school play wouldn’t have anywhere to perform. Moore thought about having the cast and crew make a stage, but that would take more money and effort. Then she thought of the idea to have the play at her church. She went in to ask for their approval, she got the approval on Friday morning, March 21. “It’s a great opportunity to improve the performance,” Macomb says.

Now that the play is moved to the church, there are a lot of advantages. The cast and crew don’t have to mess with having to make a new stage to perform on, and if they will have enough time to get it done in time. It won’t cost as much if they use the church to perform. The church is bigger than the auditorium would be so there is enough seating and parking. “It’s the nerves, I’ll be nervous because a bigger venue means more people. I’m good with people so I’ll adapt and overcome,” Macomb says. Moore is hoping to have a better outcome this year and because the play is at the church, it could attract the community and everyone around. The church group is planning on making food for the audience. The cast and crew would have to worry about how to set up the lights and how to get them perfect, at the church there are plenty of lights and the church will have full control over all the utilities. Moore would only be paying for the clean-up and the person who is going to control the lights and sound. The church is a benefit. “I’m hoping that people will see the benefit of moving it for this year and next year while we don’t have a stage here to work with. I also think it’s great in light of us trying to get out in the community,” Moore says.

There are some disadvantages though, the students that live in Blue Mound, Boody, and Macon would have to drive to Decatur. It would be worth the drive to see their fellow classmates perform one of the hottest plays in history. “ It’s not representing our school as much because it’s not being held at the school,” says Carly Goodman. It would be a little harder to move all the props and costumes from the school to the church.

Grease, is a 1978 musical about teens experiencing the high school life. The lead roles of Danny Zuko (Clayton Moore) and Sandy Dumbrowski (Hannah Wetzel) fall in love at the beach and have to end up leaving each other behind because Sandy goes back to Australia. What they don’t know is they end up being at the same high school, Rydell High. They go through some rough patches throughout the musical, but it all is worth it in the end. It’s a fun-filled singing play. The Meridian High School play is going to be located at The First Church of the Nazarene, 1177 W. Hickory Point Rd, Decatur, IL on May 2nd and 3rd at 7:00 p.m.

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