A Play in Two Days

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Gemma Andrew

Telluride Middle and High School Students Perform a Play Created in 48 Hours

Gemma Andrew, Co-Editor

TELLURIDE– The Michael D. Palm Theatre stage transformed into a platform for tents and 20 plus sleepy middle and high schoolers on Sept. 6. 

They gathered under the direction of Telluride Middle/High School drama teacher Angela Watkins to create a play in 48 hours that is then performed for the town.

The play, “The Redemption of Gertie Greene,” is about a girl [Gertie] who,  everyone avoids because they are scared of her.  It is slowly revealed throughout the play that all of her strange and scary actions were done for good reasons. 

The challenge commences after school on Friday and TMHS students spend the night reading scripts, getting parts, memorizing lines, finding costumes and creating scenes.

Sleep doesn’t come until midnight.

Watkins says she got the idea for the 48-hour play from a student what was visiting Telluride from California. “Every year is different and the participants make it unique,” Watkins said.  “This year’s cast was very supportive of one another it felt like a family and that came through in the performance.”

This is her sixth year doing the play.

Students even go so far as to cooking their own meals in the THS culinary room.  This year they whipped up spaghetti and quesadillas and spent as little time as possible eating to have more time to work on the play.

Watkins says her favorite part was watching Gertie come out of her shell.  “It was so fun to watch the casts reactions to the craziness on stage and the fantastic performance by Calista,” she said.

Throughout the years, cast size has ranged from 20 to 22 students. Watkins says its the perfect size to get things done and get to know everyone.  She selects plays that are relevant to middle and high school students.

“The actors are more comfortable taking risks and that is when the magic happens,” Watkins said.