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Drama department tackles dystopian fantasy that features real-world themes May 18-21.

Dressed in space-age costumes consisting of sparkly outfits, black ski goggles and cell phone cases taped to their wrists, the student-actors at Wilsonville High School question: What is the truth?

Starting May 18, Wilsonville High School's drama department will take the stage and tackle "Spark," a dystopian fantasy by playwright Tom Avertis. The story follows Pandora and her two friends, Jude and Farren, as they live in an underground society called Sanctuary.

The teens are preparing to compete in a virtual reality program called The Game, which determines their rank in the futuristic world. Pandora hates The Game, but soon will discover a secret within that challenges everything she has ever known.

"It's a newer play, and it's up to me how I want to play Pandora, so it's been fun trying different ways of delivering lines and how she comes across to the audience," said junior Penelope Burian.

In early May, lines of students marched onto the stage to rehearse the play's first act.

"In Sanctuary, we find ourselves. In Sanctuary, we prepare ourselves. … No freedom without surrender," the students repeated in monotone.

"Spark" is a fairly new release, hitting stages across the world in 2018. Wilsonville High drama director Jason Katz said he chose the play for its underlying themes of going against the current and seeking out answers independently.

"I like futuristic stories. I was intrigued by the idea of someone growing up in a world being fed misinformation about reality without knowing it until they started asking questions. I think 'Spark' speaks to the world we are living in and the importance of seeking truth and letting it lead you out of bondage and control," Katz said in a press release.

Junior Keira Kerner, who plays Jude, said the play tackles many themes that make people reflect on the world outside the play, despite the quirky dialogue.

"At first I think a lot of us were weirded out by the dialogue because it isn't how we normally speak — but I think we have all just learned to lean into some of the cheesiness," Kerner said.

Sophomore Xander Povey, who plays Ferran, has been in the drama department for a while, but he will step onto the Wilsonville High stage for the very first time May 22.

"It's scary … but I'm really liking it so far," he said. "I feel like there is a lot of variation to the role — I get to be angry, sad, confused and snarky. Ferran is very snarky and arrogant, which I kind of love."

Along with the quirky dialogue and roles, audience members can enjoy video animation, elaborate sound effects and an original electronic musical score written by WHS alumnus Joe Young.

IF YOU GO:

Where: Wilsonville High School Auditorium

Where: 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, May 18-21; 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21

Cost: adults $10; students $8. Tickets are on sale at https://teachtix.com/wilsonville/spark or can be purchased at the door. This show is recommended for ages 10 and up.


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