The overhead lights dim. The creaking of the curtain opening echoes through the theater as the crowd ceases their mumbling. A shadow of an actress walks across the stage and freezes in character at middlestage. Suddenly, the spotlight switches on, and the show begins.
Pattonville’s theater department performed One Stoplight Town from October 14-16. One Stoplight Town is about a small town that gains a stoplight because of traffic from a nearby interstate.
It showcases the individual town members over the course of 25 years and their journeys with and within the town. The show also probes how different people deal with change, and it uses the stoplight as a metaphor for the speed of life.
The story revolves around Trish (Meredith Stroud 12), the town’s repair woman, who does upkeep on the stoplight and offers the town her guidance. Barb (Lana Berry 12), wants the stoplight torn down and doesn’t like what the stoplight stands for in the town. The show also follows a young couple Sally (Sarah Nelson 11) and Jim’s (Dominick Austin 11) journey from high school enemies to a happy married couple. Following these characters’ journey spotlights their personal growth and the lessons they learn such as when to go, slow down, and stop in life.
A lot of the company is happy to be back after having their performances over Zoom last year.
Sarah Nelson, a junior, played Sally. “Last year we struggled through using Zoom, and although I’m really proud of everyone’s persistence through all of that, I definitely don’t miss recording everything in my room while hoping my green screen looks okay,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be a lot more interactive with each other and the audience.”
Ms. Corvera is especially excited to be back in person. “We love being back on stage to perform LIVE!” she said.
Theater is a huge part of Pattonville. Theater teaches students “teamwork, communication, motivation, responsibility, goal setting, problem solving, and the creative process,” Ms. Corvera explains. “High School Theatre helps prepare participants for so many future endeavors. Theatre, in general, tells stories which broaden our perspectives and give us empathy, compassion, and insight into the lives of others. It helps us to connect as humans and those connections help us to grow.”
Theatre also provides a community and a way to express themselves. “I love the people. I’ve made a lot of really great friends, and theatre has also really helped me break out of my shell. I love just having a good time with all my theatre buddies,” Nelson said.
Pattonville’s Theater department is putting on The Little Mermaid for the spring musical on February 17-20. To see more behind the scenes pictures of the play, check out “Creating a Show Stopper: Pirate Players Take on Tracy Wells (One Stoplight Town).”