West Aurora High School Drama Troupe 2013 will stage "The Outsiders," based on S.E. Hinton's beloved book, at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19-20, in the West Aurora High School auditorium, 1201 W. New York St., Aurora.
Tickets are $5 and are general admission. They are available for purchase online at sd129tickets.org, or they can be purchased at the door the night of the show.
The show is directed by Sherry Becker.
"The Outsiders" follows the story of Ponyboy Curtis, a poor, young boy in Oklahoma who is considered a "greaser." The greasers are always at the mercy of the "socs," or the rich kids, of their neighborhood, and Ponyboy and his friends are no strangers to their torment. After Ponyboy and his friends, Johnny and Two-Bit, befriend a couple of soc girls at a drive-in movie, they run into trouble with the girls' boyfriends, and matters take a turn for the worse. The tension between the greasers and socs hits its breaking point, and Ponyboy and Johnny are stuck in the heart of it all with no where to turn except to the truth.
"This is my first year wearing the director's cap," says Becker. "The other directors in the program and I decided to open up auditions this year to not only freshmen and sophomores, but to newcomers from freshmen to seniors who have never been in a show before and wanted to give this acting thing a try."
In the past, this show has always been an all freshmen and sophomore cast, but the show this year, due to the change in audition eligibility, has two seniors and a junior in it.
Becker says she has been wildly impressed with her newcomers and their ability to adapt, learn, and take their roles head-on.
"Two of the newcomers are playing Dallas Winston and Sodapop Curtis -- two very important roles in the show," says Becker. "I knew that bringing newcomers in would provide a challenge, but I cannot begin to say how proud I am of the work that these kids have done. You would think they were veterans of our program."
With it being Becker's first year as director, she says she wanted her first show to be a story that was close to her heart, and one she knew well.
"'The Outsiders' was the first book I ever read where I genuinely saw myself in a character, and that character is Ponyboy," she said. "For some odd reason, reading his story made me feel understood as a wildly lost, young eighth-grader at Herget Middle School."
The best part about this story, according to Becker, is the fact that there is a character in it to which every single member of the audience can relate.
"These are realistic characters with very real and unfortunately relevant issues in our society today," says Becker. "Their personalities will remind the audience of people they know, and some may even see themselves in a character as I did, 12 years ago. Some of the characters suffer from abuse, parents who have addiction issues, and having to live on a barely livable income. These issues come to life through the eyes of Ponyboy for the audience, and it makes the people who are suffering from these trials in real life feel a little less alone."