Spoof on horror movies, mixed with comedy
The Beach High School senior class is presenting the "Scariest Play -- Ever!" with hauntings, ghosts, animal spirits and plenty of humor in the mix.
"It's a very unique play -- something we've never done before," said Diane Szudera, class play director. "It's actually five plays in one. A movie producer and his secretary bring in five directors to pitch their horror movies. He doesn't have much imagination and wants movies that were good money producers in the past."
The five scenes allow Beach students the flexibility to perform in multiple roles or have one role because of other school activities, Szudera said.
The first movie is introduced by director Chucky McDuffy titled "Saturday the 14th." Two high school friends dress up like the famed local ghost, Jacob Vorbees, in order to scare the girls. They end up getting scared when the real Jacob Vorbees shows up.
The second movie skit is pitched by Samantha Snow titled "Paranormal Sensitivity." Monty Meecham bought a haunted house to make millions filming ghosts. He scares his wife and friends during a bridal shower, by having a friend pose as a ghost. But he finds out the house is really haunted and the murdered old cleaning lady is happy to invite Monte for tea.
The third movie is pitched by Portia Phibes titled "Calamityville Horror." Bernie and his family move into a house that was built over a pet cemetery. The girls keep hearing animal noises, but then the real estate agent lets the secret out.
Prospective director Sarina Frost introduces the movie "Nightmare on Oak Street." A sleepover turns into a terrifying exercise when the spirit of a crazed choir mistress tries to capture the kids. What does she want the kids for? The choir of course.
In "The Extortionist," a mother faces the torment of her daughter possessed by the spirit of Medusa, the lady with snakes instead of hair.
"This will be my last play -- after nine years and 17 plays, I am turning the reins to Beach High School English teacher, Brianna McDaniel," Szudera said. "It's been a lot of fun and I'm sure I will miss it, especially the kids. They are great and always make me laugh. I guess that's why it's called a comedy."
Student Hannah Wegner appreciates having multiple roles.
"It makes us step out of the box and to be more creative -- we're always trying to connect with our characters," she said.
Landon Lechler plays the role of producer CC Bellows.
"He's a hard person to deal with," Lechler said.
He said this play is different from other years in that the scenes change all the time with different people on stage.
The students gave credit to Szudera for her work as a director.
"Diane's been great for me my whole life -- she was always there when I was growing up," Lechler said. "She puts a lot of time and effort in the practices."
Wegner described Szudera as one of the best cooks she's met, based on the many meals and snacks she brought to practice over the years.
"She has a lot of patience with us and gives us good insight into how we can improve our parts -- that's what makes the play more interesting," Wegner said.
Performances are 7 p.m. today and Monday at the Lincoln Elementary School, 201 First Ave. SE.
"There is no admission fee, it's the seniors' gift to the community," Szudera said.