In the Sentinel High School Drama Department’s latest play, an introvert’s attempts to avoid talking with strangers backfire, forcing him further into the other characters’ secrets.
In Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner,” protagonist Charlie is “a shy, introverted socially awkward person,” said Katie Geoghegan, the school’s drama instructor. When the Englishman travels to a fishing lodge in Georgia with a friend, he attempts to dodge socializing with strangers with a novel ruse – faking that he’s foreign.
He pretends he doesn’t speak English because “he doesn’t want to interact with anyone,” Geoghegan said.
However, as the play progresses, the other characters think Charlie doesn’t understand them and he’s made privy to more information than he should, including unfolding
comedic intrigue involving a “twofaced” minister and his fiancee, and other revelations.
“Really,what it does is he gets thrust into social
interaction,” Geoghegan said.
Playing a character who avoids speaking is a tall order, but Geoghegan said junior Hamilton Clements “is just rockin’ it.”
Clements “had to play at making up different accents,” throughout the play, just as his character
does, Geoghegan said.
“I always use different accents,” based off of
English words, Clements said, as if Charlie is improvising them. He added that creating the
nonspecific “gibberish” accents was “really, really
fun to do.”
Geoghegan begins selecting plays in the summer, and “The
Foreigner” had been on her list for a long time.
“I knew I had a really strong group of guys this year,”which is rare in high school theater, she said.
“The characters are so wonderful and lovable,” she said, and the small cast offers good opportunities for the students.
“Also the camaraderie the cast gets in a small group” versus 25 students is a change, she said.
Entertainer editor Cory Walsh can be reached at 523-5261 or at email@example.com.