Stay (cougar) gold: Crockett Varsity Theatre puts on a production of The Outsiders

By Sydney Homerstad

The cast of The Outsiders posing for a picture after the show!

On the weekend of November 5th, Crockett Theatre performed the play version of the famous novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This was the program’s first full production with a full audience since Freaky Friday in February of 2020.

The show follows a smart young “greaser” named Ponyboy who struggles with feeling like an outsider in a world he believes consists of two groups of people: the poor kids (greasers), and the rich kids that like to jump them (socs; short for “socials.”) When his friend Johnny ends up killing a soc, however… Ponyboy quickly learns that everyone experiences pain.

Rehearsal for the show started in early September, and it was certainly a challenge.

A sketch of rehearsal made by senior Emma Deboard.

Actors were either brand new or upperclassmen returning to a stage full of completely different faces, including the director.

“For me it felt like I was watching this program rekindle its flame and passion, as we had lost a lot of steam in my mind [post-pandemic], just from how hard it was to get a show on the stage,” senior Ezrah Walker, who played the role of Sodapop, says. “Everyone really has a bunch of love for theatre, and it filled my heart to see all that come back to our Crockett Theatre troupe.”

Freshman Sam Chipman as Ponyboy (left) and Senior Ezrah Walker as his brother, Sodapop (right).

As for techs, not only were they working with only eleven people to build and design the show as well as run props, costumes, lighting and sound…nine of those people were new.

“Our theater had not seen a single full company production in years, so we had to tear down and ‘reset’ the theater, all while building and planning our set,” says Joshua Sendgikowski. “And our new techs did great. Every one of them put in their own piece of effort into the show, and it shows in its final production.”

Senior Sydney Homerstad as Cherry having a serious conversation with Ponyboy.

Lighting technician Joshua Sendgikowski and stage manager Faith Matthews had to take the lead and quickly train the new generation of varsity techs. Sendgikowski gives insight as to how that felt.

“In past years I’d be under the guidance of what to do from my directors or some other more experienced technician. But this year, as Head Tech, I am that source of guidance. Taking on that leadership role was a new experience. I had to take a more hands on approach and do things I’m not entirely comfortable or familiar with, in hopes of sparking that interest in the new techs that would be nostalgic to them when they are seniors doing the exact same thing for the newcomers of their time.”

Senior Gabe Magana as Dallas (center) giving Ponyboy and Johnny (played by Junior Ibraheem Tizani) advice after Johnny kills a soc.

“At the end of the day, we all managed to put on a great show together.”

Stayed tuned for Crockett Theatre’s musical this winter: Rock of Ages, and for regular updates, follow them on Instagram @crockett.theatre!

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