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Pacelli students get set to open 'Our Town'

Pacelli students will perform three-act drama Our Town this Friday through Sunday.

Students at Pacelli Catholic Schools are trying something new with the fall play: They're getting dramatic.

Pacelli sixth- through 12th-graders will perform the three-act drama "Our Town" this weekend, a switch from the comedies they've performed the past four years. The students seem to be adapting well to the change, according to director Lucas Johnson.

"I think that they're seeing that even in dramas there can be comedy," Johnson said.

"Our Town" is a story about people's everyday lives in the early 1900s. It was written in the 1930s by American playwright Thorton Wilder. Pacelli is keeping the play simple, with no props or sets except for a table, chairs and a couple of ladders.

"The play's kind of about life in general," Johnson said. "Life moves so fast, we just have to slow down and enjoy it while we can.


"It's considered one of America's first classics."

Without any props, the actors need to pantomime a bit. The setting is also obviously such a different time period than what the students are used to. You didn't have Xbox, the internet or Skype in those days, Johnson said.

The 24 students involved in the play have been working on it for five weeks. Johnson enjoys seeing the talent of the students through such a diverse age group. Some students start performing in sixth grade and are in shows through their senior year.

It's good "to see a six-year span of change," Johnson said. "It's kind of like going to all the Harry Potter movies."

The students also have a diverse set of interests. Many are in other activities like sports or choir, which makes scheduling rehearsals somewhat of a challenge, Johnson said. It says a lot about the kids and how much they can take on, he said.

"This group of kids, they have their hand in everything," Johnson said.

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