The St. Joseph’s Academy/Catholic High School Black Box Company presented its fall production, The Outsiders, September 26-30 in the Academy Arts Center Black Box Theater. The cast featured 28 students from SJA and CHS.
Based upon the novel by S.E. Hinton, this classic story is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 1960s. A teen gang, the Greasers, is perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy and Johnny get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Socials member, the boys are forced into hiding. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.
Lily McGill, drama club moderator and director of the production, expressed her pride in the performances. “I thought this would be a great show for the students to dive into,” she said. “Everyone loves the book and the movie, but it was so interesting to see our students create their own take on these characters. We also had some wonderful discussions about social classes, prejudice, poverty and grief. I am so proud of the kids’ performances, and we were so ecstatic to have such full audiences.”
Senior Ainsley Schulte portrayed Mrs. O’Briant. “I loved this show a lot, and it will always have a special place in my heart for many reasons,” she said. “One, it taught me that no matter how big or how small the role you take on is, it’s your moment and it’s your duty to make it shine. Two, it taught me that friendship is the strongest and most important bond to have in life. Much like the Greasers in the show, the Black Box Company sticks together through thick and thin, and we have each other’s backs no matter what, and I think this show really brought everyone closer together in such a beautiful way. In the show, my character, Mrs. O’Briant tells Ponyboy, ‘I think you were sent straight from heaven,’ and I think that applies to this cast. It’s been a truly fulfilling experience.”
Junior Noelle DeFee played the role of Sandy. She said she especially enjoyed watching a story she loves come to life. “The Outsiders has many good messages, and I am very grateful to have been involved in spreading them,” she said. “We had such a wonderful director who knew exactly where to push us to have the best show possible, and our cast was incredible, too. I met so many new people and grew even closer to those I had known before. We were all there for each other when we had reached lows and created a family with strong bonds both on and off stage. This particular show and those who made it possible have made the start of my junior year wonderfully memorable.”
Junior Caroline Feduccia portrayed Cherry. She said she was honored to be part of an important and moving story. “This show is really dark and heavy, so it brought us all closer together as a cast,” she said. “The show brings up really important issues and gives insight into life in ways that we not be familiar with, and it teaches you to not judge a book by its cover. The best part for me was to really give it my all in my more emotional scenes and make Cherry as dynamic as I could.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos courtesy of Francis Dinh and Tracy Ducote