Three NHS classes will perform short comedies for the schools annual tourney of plays

When Aaron Secrist was a freshman at Newberg High School, the annual tournament of plays was what got him hooked on theater.

Three years and 10 plays later, Secrist and the rest of this year’s senior class are overseeing the annual tournament of lighthearted comedies, which will hit the stage at the NHS auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. by: SETH GORDON - Competing for laughs -- Newberg High School sophomores (from left to right) Claire Retter, Cameron Lammers and Alex Foufos rehearse a scene from 'In a Strange Land,' a comedy that the sophomore class will  perform this weekend as part of the NHS tournament of plays.

“It’s a really easy, casual thing,” Secrist said. “It’s not really stressful. It’s really a way to introduce new kids to theater and see which kids will be interested in pursuing it throughout their high school career.”

Each of the freshman, sophomore and junior classes will produce one short play, which will be performed for audiences in succession all three nights.

The juniors will present Peter Bloedel’s “The Rules of Comedy,” a cluster of short scenes that give aspiring comedy writers a road map for injecting humor into their works while at the same time poking fun at plays in general.

The sophomores have chosen to perform “In a Strange Land” by Alan Haehnel, which features a cast of oddly-named characters in a very foreign country.

The freshmen will perform Jonathan Rand’s “People Versus Spam,” in which the entire human race elects to sue spam email.

“I’m really excited to see which freshmen will continue on with the theater department because every year there are a few students who continue on to be really good actors,” Secrist said. “By their senior year, they put on some really amazing performances, so I’m excited to see which students stick with the program, keep learning and keep evolving their acting techniques.”

The students have been rehearsing on their own over the break before holding final rehearsals this week. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for students. For tickets, which will be available at the door, call the NHS theater office at 503-554-5305.

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