The Western Hills High School Drama Club is presenting “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Noah Smith 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the school auditorium. Admission is $5 per person at the door.
The play is an adaptation of the classic 1800s novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and is a science fiction thriller that is sure to entertain your brain and leave you with questions about the good and evil sides of every man.
Two narrators, a maid and a butler who are played by Cheyenne Carter and Calvin Andries, tell the story of Dr. Jekyll and his obsession with the dual nature of man. Dr. Jekyll, played by Michael Church, believes that there is a way to bring out both sides of a man through the use of chemical formulas.
Jekyll conducts a series of experiments on animals and then on himself, much to the disappointment and concern of his friends, Dr. Lanyon (Gabe Warren), and Mr. Utterson (Matt Daniel). Jekyll finds that he can, in fact, bring out the two sides of his personality through the use of chemicals but fails to take into account his ability to control the lasting effects of tampering with who he is.
As the play progresses, Jekyll begins to lose control over himself and his actions. He seeks help and refuge from friends, Helen O’Neill (Madison Brawner) and Cybel (Raychel Blackburn). Jekyll has a series of encounters with Helen’s fiancé and Utterson’s nephew, Richard Enfield (Stefan Dismuke) that become increasingly violent and aggressive as the two men seem to have personalities that clash. Ultimately, Jekyll must find a way to control his inner nature, or it will end up controlling him.
Church, a senior who plays both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde said, “I love having the chance to play such a classic character who must separate the two sides to his personality. It has been a challenge and a lot of fun. And I am glad to be finishing my high school drama career with this production.”
Raychel Blackburn, who plays Cybel said, “This play has been an interesting journey, as have the last three years of being in Western Hills’ Drama Club productions. All of these productions have allowed me to develop my acting skills and I feel excited about participating in theater outside of high school.”
The backstage crew and light/sound technicians have worked many hours to bring this show to life. These behind-the-scenes students are: Jarrod Darnell, Ben Dunavent, Colburn Montgomery, Alex Sandifer, Leah Childs, Melissa Martin and Molly Vest.
This play is sure to leave the audience members considering their own inner nature as they are entertained by this classic thriller.