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DHS to present the heyday of New York City: Stories told by O. Henry

Ragsy and friends plot to take the dollar away that Clara earns while she washes clothes during a rehearsal scene of "O.Henry: The New York Stores" at Dickinson High School.

The Dickinson High School Drama Department will explore the heyday of New York when it presents their first play of the 2017-18 season. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 16, 17 and 18 in the DHS Risser Auditorium.

The first selection was chosen to tie in with the immersion on Ellis Island, that is being developed through the History Department. This play will help get a feel for New York City at

the time when Ellis Island was in its Heyday.

The play selected is “O.Henry, the New York Stories,” dramatized by Nikki Harmon. The play contains 10 short views of Turn-of-the-Century New York, through the eyes of O. Henry, the master of the twist ending and chronicler of everyday people from young shop girls with enormous dreams to the ne’er-do-wells with plans for an easy life.

Among the people you’ll come to know are:

* Three of the dingiest and laziest musketeers you’ve ever seen, plotting to relieve a hard-working wife of a whole dollar she earned scrubbing clothes.

* A  young gentleman with the sudden insurmountable problem in giving away a “mere one-thousand-dollar” inheritance.

* Two sophisticated patrons dining at an elegant hotel who aren’t necessarily who they seem.

Cast members for this production include Madison Barndt, Matthew Berglund, Parker Case-Roy, Nicole Cooper, Emilya Cruz, Mackenzie Estes, Joshua Hood, Cassidy Hughes, Heidi Jazwa , Ahava Johnson, Morgan Kubischta,Tadiwanashe Kuzuinzwa, Shylyn Lefor, Heaven Pechtl, Niah Pilalis, Ayden Rome, Jersey Roquet, Kyle Schmidt, Dallen Schuetzler, Maren Schuetzler, Miriam Stockert, Makenzie Theurer, Paige Thorgerson and Jeremy Parker.

The seniors agreed the rehearsals has been fun.

“Each scene is a different story and it all takes place in New York City at the turn of the century,” said Paige Thorgerson. “There are different perspectives -- you see rich families, you see poor ones and those in between. Everybody is struggling in their own way.”

Because O.Henry is best known for “The Gift of the Magi,” the seniors edited the play to be presented at the end. They assigned speaking parts and developed a scene of their own.

Admission will be: Adults $8; students $7, DHS students with ID/ senior citizens $6, and junior high school and below $5.

Dickinson High School drama is under the direction of Michael R. Stevenson.

Did you know:

V Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for more than 12 million immigrants to the United States. It was the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 to 1954.

V O.Henry was born under the name of William Sydney Porter in Greensboro, N.C., in 1862. He started working in his uncle’s drugstore as a pharmacist by the age of 19. He moved to Texas to work on a sheep ranch, and went on to drafting, journalism and banking. He was charged with bank embezzlement and served in a Federal prison where he again practiced pharmacy. He began writing as a hobby, and started writing for The Post. He got ideas for his column by loitering in hotel lobbies.  The many twists and turns of his own life, including travels in Latin America and time spent in prison, inspired his stories’ twists. He went on to write 381 short stories including the most famous “The Gift of the Magi.” His personal tragedy was heavy drinking, and he died in 1910.