Old “Bachelor” takes stage at Maine South
Carri Stevens takes part in rehearsal for the Maine South High School play "The King Stag" on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at the school in Park Ridge. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:32AM
PARK RIDGE — An 18th Century, not-ready-for-reality-TV version of “The Bachelor” is on its way to the Maine South High School stage.
“The King Stag,” a comedy by Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi, will be presented Feb. 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school, 1111 S. Dee Road in Park Ridge. Tickets are $6 and available at the auditorium box office.
“The King Stag” is the fairy tale story of Deramo, king of Serendippo, who begins searching for love with the help of a magical statue. Deramo interviews and rejects thousands of potential wives until just three candidates are left. When a rival for one of the women hatches a plot to transfer the king’s soul into a dead stag and put his own soul into the body of the king, the comedy takes an even stranger turn.
The play was written in the theater style known as commedia dell’Arte, complete with masks, puppets, props, plenty of physical comedy and over-the-top acting.
“It’s not realistic — it’s extravagant,” explained Maine South theater teacher and director Lauri McCleneghan. “It’s a different acting style.”
McCleneghan said this particular production was selected in an effort to introduce theater students to do a different style of acting, one that originated in the 16th century and is not frequently performed. “The King Stag” also serves as a lighter follow-up piece to the grittier, reality-based “Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” which was the school’s fall production, McCleneghan explained.
Cast members include Carri Stevens, Kelly Bauer, Giuliana Bartucci, Drew Mathieu, Jeff Czerwionka, Jack Cahill-Lemme, Lily Elderkin, Trevor Ross, Tom Spytek, Elena Sasso, Maria Stratigakis and Brian Lubash. Ensemble members are Kelly Bauer, Chrissy Friel, Maggie Lynch, Gillian Mays, Kevin O’Keefe and Maria Stratigakis. Alyssa Latragna is the student director, Mark Gotthelf is the stage manager and technical direction is provided by Patrick Sanchez.
“The King Stag” also features original music composed by Maine South student Tim Kwasny and performed live by Kwasny, Soren Ramsey and James Dombro.