The Liar Marks First Performance Since Pandemic￼
By: Shreya Senthilkumar & Allison Hurley
This October, The Apex Peak Players will be performing The Liar for the twenty-second annual fall play. It is a contemporary version of a French farce, of the same name, performed in 1644. The story takes place in Paris and follows Dorante (played by Preston Smith) and his complicated, yet humorous, journey to find a wife. The production is put on by Apex students, with direction from Ms. Levine. Over the past five weeks, the cast and crew have rehearsed nearly every day after school to perfect their performances for the play, which is set to premiere on Thursday, October 14 at 7 P.M.
The Liar will be Ms. Levine’s eighth play production since she began teaching at Apex High and the school’s first full production since the pandemic. While moving classrooms this summer for the new school year, she found the script for The Liar and she “just had this feeling this might be the play [this year].” She was drawn to the play’s comedic premise, small cast, and minimal set.
After the play was announced, the Apex Peak Players, which refers to all of Apex High’s students involved in theatre, began auditions and interviews for the cast and crew. Over 70 students are involved in this year’s production, which consists of two separate casts to account for possible Covid-19 exposures or quarantines. Other Covid precautions include face coverings for all audience members, crew, and cast, even on stage. Crew members are also responsible for ensuring that shared props are thoroughly sanitized.
Despite these protocols, the Peak Players are excited to showcase their hard work later this month. Preston Smith and Joey Klieman, the two leads of The Liar, both expressed their excitement about the new production and their roles within it. Joey was intrigued by the play’s “cooky” storyline. “Everything [about the play] is just so overly dramatic, but it still uses the modern conventions so you can read it normally.” Preston added that this play allows the actors to “really just get to have fun with it the whole time, and we have a really great cast.” Preston described his character, Dorante, as someone who’s exciting and crazy, while Joey’s character, Cliton, is meant to be “the check to his madness.”
Another important role in The Liar cannot be seen on stage, but rather, behind the curtain. The backstage crew for the play has also been working hard to make sure the show runs smoothly. Stage managers Hunter Dennan and Emma Wical have been involved in theatre all throughout high school. Hunter auditioned for a role his freshman year, but was not cast. He decided to join the crew as a prompter, but quickly became an Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) for two years. Now, he is a Junior and one of this year’s Stage Managers. Emma was a spotlight and sound operator her freshman year, then became an ASM, and is now spending her senior year as a Stage Manager. Hunter says, “A lot of [the Stage Manager’s work] is before, after, and during the shows,” while ASMs work more during rehearsals to prepare for the show. Stage managers work with everyone that is involved in the play. “As Stage Manager you are in this leadership role, so you have to earn the trust of other people,” Emma says. Both Hunter and Emma agree that being a stage manager requires hard work and leadership to put on a PEAK production.
Anyone is welcome to support the Peak Players and their hard work by attending one of their shows on October 14-16 at 7 P.M. or the matinee on October 16 at 2 P.M. Tickets can be purchased here.
You can follow along with the Apex Peak Players’ events here: