DHS spring play: Audience allowed, virtual option still available

Dickinson High School (DHS) talented young actors will be challenging themselves and their craft by taking on a dramatic production of the adapted play of "The Secret Garden."

Dickinson High School junior Chesnee Wagner will be preforming on March 18. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson High School (DHS) talented young actors will be challenging themselves and their craft by taking on a dramatic production of the adapted play of "The Secret Garden."

The show will be at 7 p.m., March, 18, 19 and 20. They will also have a virtual option as they did last winter. Information on streaming will be available closer to opening night on the DHS website—

Tickets are $5 for live admission and $10 to stream.

“(The winter production) was a little different where the audience was masked and performers were masked. Drama is kind of an expressive activity so that was an interesting challenge for the kids.” theatre instructor Joshua Kralicek said. “We successfully streamed the show... I got a story of people's grandpa in Texas who finally got to watch their grandkids show. We also had a former cast member who graduated last year, Issac Mills. He is in the military now, he was able to watch the shows from where he was training.”

Originally written by novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett and then adapted by Jerry R. Montoya. It takes place in the early 1900s in a large European mansion. It is a journey of life changes, unexpected friendships of humility and how positivity can work like magic.


Dickinson High School Spring 2021 theater production is an adaptation of "The Secret Garden." The cast have three separate cast for each night of the showing. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

“'The (Secret Garden)'" movie was around 90 minutes to two hours but is an adaptation that will only take about 60 minutes. It's pretty fast paced.”

Rehearsal began in January. The cast is divided into three, each cast with their own night of performance.

“I was very excited because last year I was going to do drama in middle school but then it got cancelled so when I got to do this I was overjoyed,” freshman Len Luka, who is playing Colin, said. “I have been doing speech which is kind of similar but in a different sense. They're both acting so I am use to the acting part but I'm very new to the blocking and all that kind of stuff,”

Luka then explained that blocking is the movements made on stage by actors and shared some areas she finds difficult. Luka finds difficulty in the difference of speech and stage acting such as memorizing lines and keywords, but takes joy from the lessons.

Senior Parker Case believes that there is always a lesson to learn in life and looks forward to growing in his craft once he begins to attend Dickinson State University. This is his seventh production at DHS and he will be playing two different roles, Carven and the Station Master. Each on separate nights.

“I like the bond you build with everyone. From the current cast to everyone that I have met from these productions. There are people that graduated my freshman year that I am still friends with,” Case said. “I am excited to go to DSU in the fall... Drama is not really in my comfort zone but it's good to step out of it every once in a while. And getting more comfortable with (drama acting) would be helpful in the future because that is a lot of what the college produces.”


Senior Aiden Waldron is excited to be doing a drama and to be able to have a crowd again in the auditorium. Waldron is playing the role of Mrs. Medlock. Medlock can be quite poised.

“I don't get to do many dramas so I’m pretty happy about that,” Waldron said. “It's nice (having a full audience). It's very, very nice. It's feeling a little bit more normal, especially not having to wear a mask on stage… It was hard performing with the mask. People couldn't read your lips, couldn't read your expressions and it also got really hot.”

Junior Chesnee Wagner, who is playing the role of Martha, the kind and passionate maid that is torn between her work and caring for the protagonist, Mary.

Dickinson High School junior Chesnee Wagner is taking on the role of Martha for the spring production of "Secret Garden." (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

Wagner saw the positivity of dividing the cast which has allowed them to develop their character.

“We have three different casts for this show. The chemistry in my cast is perfect. We all love each other,” Wagner said. “I feel like it's not competitive at all. We can bounce off each other. I see things that the other Marthas do and I think, ‘Oh I should include that!’ So it's an experience that we go through together.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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