Theatre Information

Parkway Central High School The Diviners

By • Nov 8th, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Missouri

Buddy Layman’s worst fear is water. Wouldn’t yours be if you almost drowned with your mother? What if you had acquired brain damage? What if you lost your mother? What if the one thing you were afraid of, was the only thing you were good at finding?

A play set in the 1930′s by Jim Leonard Jr., The Diviners is well-written piece of art and is, thankfully, performed by the talented Parkway Central High School.

Tim Whyman (Buddy Layman) brilliantly brings a genuine, natural flow to the show, and tastefully portrays animation in Buddy’s character. His likable character provides a sentimental touch to the plot. Whyman’s innocence molds well with Alex Tash’s character, C.C. Showers, the town’s new addition and hopefully, savior. The complex interactions between the two contrasting characters appear authentic. Tash conveys a fresh pace to the stage; he never speaks sluggishly, and every word he says has great emotion behind it. Dewey Maples (Jake Blonstein) and Melvin Wilder (Austin Sellinger) are a hilarious pair of farm hands who demonstrate incredible chemistry on stage, as if their characters see one another as brothers; the stage is never bland when the two interact. Norma Henshaw, played by the talented Samantha Zucker, is a sweet woman who owns the dry goods store in the small town; Zucker never overacts or overpowers any actors, yet she steals the stage with her strong character and comical one-liners. The actors are not only consistent with their characters, but with their accents as well. This is very well demonstrated and a perfect touch to the atmosphere.

The amount of details in Parkway Central’s production is incredible and worth the attention. Their use of real water is refreshing and much more believable, as it is spread in small puddles across the stage and on their umbrellas as well. Lighting and sound’s details were wonderful as well. The two elements flowed well together; lighting’s subtle clouds, warm hues on the cyclorama, and fluid colors on the stage floor to represent water all completely piece themselves together very well, and are designed by Nick Bible. The sound effects, presented by Andrew Matusofsky, are not overpowering and distracting, but help the story along flawlessly, especially in the scene where Buddy, unfortunately, drowns. Make-up and Costumes are pleasing to the eye thanks to Alex Tash and Jack Connolly. The itching patches on Buddy’s skin appear realistic from the audience, and the grease on his hands is a nice addition. The set, built from the ground up, is well designed and beautifully painted to represent a dry, cracked soil. The actual digging and water on the set are designed expertly, and it appears to be very stable.

While some chemistry between characters was lost and lines were a tad rushed, the show overall is a very enjoyable one, and is simply divine.

by Lily Fitzgibbon of Marquette High School

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