Advanced Acting class debuts “The Outsiders”


Bailey Blackburn

Photo by Bailey Blackburn

Julia Kim, Staff Writer

The RBHS Advanced Acting class is set to premiere their first play of the year this Thursday, Dec. 2, followed by three more performances Friday and Saturday. 

The production, “The Outsiders,” is based on the book by S.E. Hinton, and tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis (played by senior Avery Devlin), who is a member of the Greasers, a gang perpetually at odds with their upper-class rivals, the Socials. When Curtis and his best friend Johnny (played by junior Addison Spiller) get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Socials member named Bob (played by senior Gram Coalier), Curtis is forced to grapple with family, friendship and self identity in the midst of a burgeoning war between the two gangs. 

Coalier said the story immediately engaged the cast, helping them to embody their characters and naturally interact with one another on stage. 

“Everyone in class loves the story and the characters, ” said Coalier.  “We’ve built lots of friendships that you’ll be able to see [in] the play.”

Junior Zachary Coughenour described his character, Two-Bit, as the jokester of the Greasers who can never hold back from making a snide remark. He said taking on the role of a gangster was definitely fun but difficult.

“[COVID-19] and illness is a very real challenge. Students and staff are showing signs of exhaustion but [are] managing to keep pushing forward. [As] the saying goes, the show must go on.””

— RBHS drama teacher, Sandy Welty

[It was] challenging turning some generally very nice people into thugs and hoodlums,” Coughenour said. “It’s hard to act like you’re about to fight if you’ve never been in one.”

RBHS drama teacher, Sandy Welty, said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, students and staff were able to bring the script to life through a semester’s worth of character development, memorization techniques and rehearsals. 

“[COVID-19] and illness is a very real challenge,” Welty said. “Students and staff are showing signs of exhaustion but [are] managing to keep pushing forward. [As] the saying goes, the show must go on.”

As it is his last year at RBHS, Coalier said he’s thankful for the friendships he made this semester, and hopes audiences are able to thoroughly enjoy the work of the performance.

“‘The Outsiders’ is a really wonderful story, and I think we’re doing it justice,” Coalier said. “I hope that as many people in this school as possible come to see it.”

Are you excited to watch “The Outsiders?” Let us know in the comments below.