HOUGHTON - The students are all in costume (save for a few stragglers) and director David Crowley talks to them from the stage, walking back and forth, reminding them of things that need to be done before opening night of the show.
The show in question is "Auntie Mame," which students at the Houghton High School will be performing this weekend. According to Crowley, it's a complicated show, not in story, but in set decoration, sound effects, costumes ... basically all the things that make up a show apart from the actors. It is, in a word, challenging.
"It is very challenging" Crowley said. "There are many scene changes, but part of the reason is that because we've had such good support from our audiences (in the past) I felt we had the money available to do the things we need to do."
Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
From left, Auntie Mame (played by Cheyenne Kaufman)?ends up with a son, Patrick (played by Clayton Bulleit) after the death of her brother. Together, Mame and Patrick must face the ups and downs of life while managing to stay together as a family.
According to Crowley, when he was looking for plays he wanted to find something that had a lot of parts because of the high number of students that usually audition.
"When I came across it, I thought that's a good, well-known play that might draw a big crowd," Crowley said. "I looked at the kids I had available so I thought I had the people to do it and thought it would work."
Despite how well-known the play is, Crowley would like parents to know that the play is rated PG-13, due to some brief language and some sexual innuendo.
Cheyenne Kaufman landed the leading role of Auntie Mame. In preparation for it, she watched the film version with Rosalind Russell and has somewhat modeled her performance off of it.
"I think I act like Russell a little bit, but I don't think I'll ever be up to her level," Kaufman said. "But I try to act relatively close to her."
Having the lead is different than what Kaufman is used to. She has 430 lines and said it's been a struggle, but a welcome challenge.
"I don't think I was ever pushed to the limits as an actress in previous plays and this really does that," she said.
But despite the challenge, Kaufman has been enjoying herself.
"I've learned a lot," she said.
Auntie Mame opens at the Houghton High School Alumni Theatre Friday with a performance at 7 p.m. A 6:30 p.m. performance will be held Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors.