‘From Up Here’ presents comical take on high school, family dysfunction

TEMP ORARY February 16, 2012 0

Do you have a free night this upcoming weekend but no idea what to do with it? Be sure to stop by the Tempest Theatre box office to find out about “From Up Here.” The dramatic comedy, directed by Terri Mastrobuono, adjunct faculty member, is closing this weekend with performances beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 in the Tempest Theatre. It is sure to entertain with laughs, tears and drama that you wouldn’t want to miss.

The production is about a dysfunctional family who has problems dealing with all of the emotions that come with dealing with high school and growing up in a crazy household. Senior stage manager Jenn Simpson said this play is “something everyone can relate to. It’s about this kid that got bullied in high school and how his whole family is dealing with it.”

This play not only depicts life in high school, but also familial relationships. You’ll enjoy the crazy antics of the main character’s family as they try to cope with everything that fate seems determined to throw at them. Posters on campus summarize the dramatic comedy: “Kenny Barret did something serious – something almost deadly – that has everyone worried. He wished he could just make it through the rest of the year unnoticed. At home, his mother is struggling with a rocky second marriage and a surprise visit from her estranged sister. A play about a family limping out the door in the morning and coming home, no matter what.”

Although its subject matter may sound quite serious, there are plenty of laughs to be had. Simpson described the play as “surprisingly funny.” You’ll find yourself laughing and worrying along with an all-star cast including first-years Stuart Foley and Wendy Moulton; sophomores Katie Owens and Mike Wawrzynek; and seniors Nicole St. Pierre, D.J. Littell, Rachel Saul and Coty Morrison.

The cast and crew started rehearsals back in the middle of November and practiced five nights a week since. The only time they had off was during winter break. Their hard work and dedication definitely shows in their humorous and touching portrayal of teenage life.

Do you find yourself bored to tears by most plays? Have no fear, this performance is sure to keep your attention. Simpson has seen the play many times and continually finds something new to enjoy. “Every time I see it, I find something else to relate to,” she said.

This is high praise coming from a student who has worked in the theatre since her first year. Simpson started working in the box office and has been working in productions off and on since the fall of 2009. Now Simpson is an office assistant and stage manager. As a political science major, Simpson enjoyed working in the theatre so much that she even added theatre as a minor.

The actors and actresses on stage aren’t the only ones to thank for this great dramatic comedy. The crew has been very busy arranging all the details just right for opening night. Richard Wolf-Spencer, assistant professor of theater, has been busy working as scenic designer along with guest costume designer Teresa Wolf-Spencer. Senior Angie Wilt works as makeup designer and junior Keller Robinson as lighting designer.

Before directing “From Up Here,” Mastrobuono ran her own professional theatre company in Lancaster and has taught at Etown for sixteen years. She has a passion for theater that shows through her dedication to the performing arts. Without these members of the crew, the play could not happen.

“From Up Here” is scheduled for 8 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday, Feb. 16 and 17, with a matinee on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 and if you haven’t yet, you can still buy tickets at the box office near Tempest Theatre. If you don’t get the chance or don’t have the time to stop by, you can also purchase tickets by calling (717) 361-1170 or emailing BOXOFFICE@etown.edu. Regardless of how you get your tickets be sure to attend this hilarious and heartwarming dramatic comedy. This is one performance you don’t want to miss!

If you are interested in becoming a part of the theater, the upcoming play, Lysistrata, has open positions for cast and crew. Contact the theater department or sign up outside the theater office, located near the Bird Cage and dance studio, to become a part of the wonderful world of theater.

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