Theatre students perform in community productions


Junior theatre students Chloe Bertschinger and Frances Pope run through lines with theatre teacher and director Mary Howard. Bertschinger and Pope acted in community theatre productions this past summer.

Kelli Sellers, News Writer

Juniors Frances Pope and Chloe Bertschinger participated in community theatre during their summer break.
Pope performed with the Montevallo Main Street Players in William Inge’s Picnic at the Parnell Library, Friday, Aug. 16-Sunday, Aug. 18.
Picnic is about a picnic that takes place in the backyard of two houses on Labor Day.  Eighteen year-old Madge Owens and Hal Carter, a mischievous young guy, fall for each other, but Alan Seymour, a rich man settling down to find someone to love, likes Madge.
Pope starred as Millie, the main character’s tomboyish younger sister.
“Millie is the smart sister,” Pope said. “Throughout the play, she becomes a changed person by wanting to learn more about boys and begin to date.
Pope learned many things by participating in community theatre.
“I learned how to present myself and how to be a completely different person on stage,” Pope said.  “I also learned how to have fun while acting. I didn’t know anyone there, but I had fun and enjoyed being around everyone involved in the production.”
Bertschinger performed in Doug Grisson’s Elvis People at the South City Theatre on Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 23 and Saturday, Aug. 24.
Elvis People celebrates the life of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and some of the heart-touching stories of how he touched the lives of others with his music.
Bertschinger had two parts in Elvis People. One of her characters, Suzy, is a teenage girl in the 1960s who discovers and loves Elvis. The one thing that stops her is her parents, who are against Elvis.
Bertschinger describes her other character, Janie, as an opportunist. She runs away to Memphis to see Elvis and to get away from her miserable life.
“It was an amazing experience,” Bertschinger said.  “I met inspirational and fabulous people and I made new friends.”
Theatre teacher Mary Howard is proud of both Pope and Bertschinger, and for other students who auditioned.
“I’m very proud of Chloe and Frances and all of the students who audition for community theatre this summer,” Howard said.  “Frances did a fabulous job in Picnic acting as the bratty little sister. Chloe portrayed several characters in Elvis People and was amazing.”