Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A star was born-in 1973

This post is dedicated to my classmates from Highland High School, Medina, Ohio who have helped me to relive some memories.

I want to thank my costars Brian Avery, Janet Malek Henderson, and Sandra Ziebro Hughes, along with Gary Webster. You gave me many smiles as I relived one of my best evenings as a teenager.

To my other readers, these I have mentioned are some very classy folk, as are you who have supported this blog since I started writing it in August, 2006.

In the past week or so since I reconnected with many of my old high school classmates via Facebook, we have been reliving some of our better memories of high school.

Probably my best memory of high school was our junior class play, "Life With Father." I was Clarence Day, aka father. I probably got the role because of my booming voice and a booming body to match. The faculty advisor, Mrs. Ludwig, rest her soul, probably did me the biggest favor of my high school years by casting me in the role.

Instead of butchering the storyline, I will give some of my views of our production. For the storyline, click on the link above.

First, the tryouts: I went to tryout for the play one day after school. I remember getting a mimeographed sheet with some parts on it. One of my classmates, Vince Leibenguth, saw that one of the characters was named Vinnie, so he volunteered to read for Vinnie. Mrs. Ludwig immediately noted that Vinnie was a girl's part. To my later delight, Vince backed off from reading for that part. For me the tryouts went well. I found later that one of my friends had refused to take part in the play due to some of the dialog in the play.

Next, parts posted: All of us who had been to tryouts checked the bulletin board to see if we had made the play. A couple of classmates came to me all excited. I figured that I had made the play in some part. Their excitement beamed even more when they told me that I had gotten the lead role. And the offensive language was all spoken by me, several "damns."

Then practice, and practice, and more practice: Those of us in the play became good friends in a somewhat short time. I had by far and large, the most lines to memorize. One of the major benefits of my role was Rene Roach, who played Vinnie, was one of the cheerleaders, and I had to kiss her during every rehearsal. Now you know, for two reasons, that I was delighted. It didn't seem that I would ever learn the lines, or that the play would come together. But it was gelling together.

The night of the play: Everything came into place. The audience included my mom and my favorite aunt. I might had to have my lines given to me maybe twice. There was a monologue during the play, featuring yours truly. My character was reading the newspaper, and had to vent about the state of politics in New York City. While I gave the "address" I was on the stage by myself. When I left to go backstage, I was told by Mrs. Ludwig that I had gotten a standing ovation. Although we made mistakes, the play was a success. The one mistake I regret making was stepping on the only line of one of my friends, Doug Brantner.

We all went to Barnhill's, an ice cream parlor in Fairlawn, Ohio, after the play to celebrate the success of our production. And to myself, I was quietly celebrating the fact that less people thought of me as a dummy, due to my performance. And it may have helped me in my only political victory: I was elected class vice president for our senior year.


wzzp said...

This was a cool post! Thanks for the glimpse back in time.

P.S. I wasn't even born in 1973.

Webby said...

If I would have known that the bonus was getting to smooch on Rene I may have tried... but I agree the better man got the lead... it has been good reminiscing

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Great photo scans, and a fun post Cliff!

Mike Golch said...

Great photos,thankd for sharing them.