Curtain up: Fall play season is beginning at Carroll County Public Schools

The selection of shows put on this year by Carroll County Public Schools high school students includes a world premier, a selection of student-directed shows, challenging classics and thoughtful contemporary scripts.

The first show of the season opens Nov. 2 and the last opens Nov. 30.



First up is Liberty High School’s production of “Rumpelstiltskin: A Tale Told Fairly From Both Sides,” an original adaptation of the Rumpelstiltskin tale.

The students are putting on the world premiere of the show, written specifically for them by Danny Hughes.


Show dates are Nov. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 ahead of time and $12 at the door. Audience members can also request to pick seats in advance for $15. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.lhsdramaclub.com.

Carroll-based Players On Air Inc. will present Neil Simon's "Rumors" Oct. 19 and 20.

This “has allowed us to get very creative with our sets and costumes,” said drama director Danielle Dickstein. “All of our designs are created and implemented by the students themselves, so this show allowed them to have a lot of fun and play with the fairy tale feel of design. It has also allowed actors to play with different forms of physicality and character work.”

South Carroll

The South Carroll Stagelighters are putting on "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Simon Stephens based on the novel by Mark Haddon.

Shows will be Nov. 8-10. more information is available at www.scstagelighters.org.


According to the play’s synopsis, “Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.”

Director Caitlin Widner said, “I'm so passionate about this show and I think my students are too because it's not just a regular production. This is really theatre for social change."

Widner met with parents of students with autism spectrum disorder and got feedback from them. The parents came in to speak with the students about autism and how they can interact with peers on the spectrum in a helpful way.

The actor playing the lead role in the show does not have autism spectrum disorder and Widner met with parents to help them find a portrayal that was authentic and not disrespectful.

Tickets available in advance at scsl.booktix.com.

Westminster came alive with costumes during the annual American Legion Post 31 Halloween parade through downtown.

Manchester Valley

Manchester Valley High School Maverick Theatre will put on the circus-inspired classic “Pippin.”

Show dates are Nov. 9-10 and 16-17 at 7 p.m. and tickets may be purchased at the door or manval.booktix.com. Prices are $10 in advance or $12 at the door, with a discount available for senior citizens.

As part of the production students learned circus skills like juggling, stilt walking and aerial silks.

Senior Liz Vinson, who plays the role of Leading Player, said the process of taking on the character was taking on a personality more forceful and very different from her own. The personality is one “you have to shake off,” she said.

Senior Kat Matos learned the aerial silks. She had no experience before starting and it was a challenge to complete the training in the relatively short production schedule of the show.

Still, she said, it was a fun experience.

More information is available at mvhsmavericktheatre.com.


For a more bite-sized drama experience with no less emotional punch, Century High School presents “Traumedy: A One-act Festival,” consisting of four student-directed shows.

Show dates are Nov. 8-10 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 16-17 at 7 p.m. as well as one afternoon show Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at www.centurydrama.com or at the door for $10.

The Carroll Arts Center will host its annual showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Friday, Oct. 26, at 10 p.m. for one night only of the cult classic. Before the screening, a student-run theater group Actors Anonymous will perform numbers from their live production of the show.

Century Drama produces a student-directed one-act play festival every other year. This year, two are comedies and two are dramas.

Drama Director Lucas Hewitt said, “This is a really great opportunity for select students to experience the role of the director. The students are in charge of everything from lights to costumes, sets, props, casting, and of course directing. It also provides an opportunity for every student to play a fairly significant role where we try to make sure everyone gets at least one line.”

More than 80 students are involved on and off-stage.

“Something unique about this performance is that the audience will be seated on the stage surrounding the acting area on three sides in what we call a ‘thrust setting.’ This gives the audience a more intimate setting and allows them to really connect to the characters in the plays and experience theater in a more communal event like theatre was originally intended to be presented,” Hewitt added.

“Our shows will make you laugh, cry, and contemplate your own life experiences as we tackle issues such as being yourself, owning up to your mistakes, bullying, social media and suicide.”

The shows are: “Feed the Whales: The Saga of the Boy Band Oreo” by Don Zolidis, directed by Bradley Naylon and Hailey Daniels; “Surviving Lunch” by KT Curran, directed by Beth Malinoski and Maddy Leonard; “368 Friends” by Bradley Walton, directed by Andrew Fleming and “Things Fall (Meanwhile)” by Barton Bishop, directed by Anna White.

Some shows include mature themes and are recommended for middle school audiences and older.


Westminster High School students will produce the classic tale of suspicion and loyalty, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.

There are three shows, Nov. 8-10, all at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door.

“While ‘The Crucible’ has been on my list of shows that I wanted to do since I began teaching, one of the reasons I chose to do it now was because of this year’s seniors,” said theater program director Melissa Purdy. “Many of them read the play in AP Lang last spring, fell in love with it, and suggested it for this year knowing that I was looking for a serious drama to contrast with this spring’s musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ This gave a very interested and knowledgeable group to build from for this difficult show.”

The Sykesville Craft Beer Festival is coming back this November for the second year since its dedicated itself solely to beer. Featuring local microbreweries and food trucks, the event will be held on Main Street from 12 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 10.

“The Crucible” takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, though Miller wrote the show in the 1950s.

“This was a time when paranoia, hysteria, and deceit gripped the Puritan towns of New England with tragic consequences. ...The play is historical fiction based on the court records of the famous trials with most characters and all verdicts and executions remaining accurate to those documents,” according to a news release.


The show may not be appropriate for all ages.


For further information or questions, contact Purdy at mapurdy@carrollk12.org.


Winters Mill High School presents the Agatha Christie murder mystery “And Then There Were None,” written in 1943. Show dates are Nov. 16-17.

The holiday classic “A Christmas Story” will hit the Francis Scott Key High School stage Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

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