By Abigail Miller 42Fifty Staff Writer
I was lucky enough to finally find my t.v remote stuffed between two couch cushions and tune into Oswego High School’s winter show: Who Keeps Changing the Channel?. For those of you who weren’t as fortunate, this student ran and produced show was at 6:30 p.m on Feb. 15 and 16 in the Barnes Performing Arts Center. The tickets cost $5 a person and were well worth it for this original and humorous production.
For OHS’s winter show, the staging was simple yet effective. There were three flats painted in black. On two of these flats hung student designed t.v posters featuring members of the cast. The third and center flat had the word Stageflix painted on it in red. This is an example of how no creativity the producers and actors of the show have is gone unutilized. Student directors were encouraged to bring all of their skills to the table to make the production their own. Winter play members Tegan Zoephel, Owen Meldon and Andrew Provost. The flats worked well with virtually any scene, too, with their neutral color.
As someone who was in the winter show in the past, I saw a huge improvement in the costumes, hair, and makeup. Every actor was dressed in a way that worked for their part: detectives in trench coats, multiple clowns in bright colors and afros and an actor literally walking on all fours in a dog suit.
It’s safe to say that Who Keeps Changing the Channel? is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. The actors delivered their best funny accents, played up comedic timing, and the writers should be credited for the scenes they crafted. The scene was an audience favorite. The scene played upon stereotypical soap opera and telenovela themes with characters seemingly coming back from the dead and professing their love. In this scene, the company producing the soap opera even got bought out by a large Spanish corporation, prompting the actors to continue the scene all in spanish.
The play included other humorous parodies of popular t.v shows. The Bachelor included three contestants all by the name of Ashley, one with southern roots who wore a cow onesie. Fish Tank was a take on Shark Tank and had three bickering judges. Every scene was clever in its own right and gave the audience lots of laughs.
I was impressed with the actor’s memorization. There were no memory flubs or awkward pauses from what I could tell. The only things that sometimes felt a bit off were the transitions between scenes. A handful of actors would appear on stage or near the railings and fill up the time that was needed to allow some actors to change or for set pieces to be moved. While I understand that breaks in the scenes are necessary for these reasons, I would personally prefer a simple musical interlude, or more of the voice over commercials . Some of the transitions seemed like banter between characters with no real purpose, except to get a couple of laughs. The scenes themselves were funny enough on their own. A quick musical interlude, or something of the sort, instead could have given audience members a second to glance down at their pawbill and read the information for the upcoming scene.
OHS’s production of Who Keeps Changing the Channel?! was a great encompassment of what the winter play is supposed to be all about. The students shined in every way: acting, designing the set and choreographing a dance number to wrap the show up. It’s a shame that those of you who couldn’t make it weren’t able to DVR this funny and enjoyable show.
Abigail Miller covers fine arts and academics at Oswego High School. She can be reached at email@example.com. Or, contact the publication directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.