Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Take a bite out of reality television

WRHS drama department to stage ‘Surviving Reality’

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River High School Performing Arts Academy will perform “Surviving Reality” today through Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

Wood River High School Performing Arts Academy Director Karl Nordstrom decided that this fall's theater production would be fun and enjoyable. Nordstrom's choice to stage "Surviving Reality," a comedy by Daniel O'Donnell, not only fit his criteria but has brought a group of student actors together who enjoy theater.

"The students in this play are the core theater actors," Nordstrom said. "They are having a good time."

"Surviving Reality" is a show about the owner of a small local television station who decides to produce his own reality show. Sparks fly about the $1 million prize, and character Harold Fastbuck sees an opportunity to make millions with the TV show.

The show in the play casts the haughty Tuttletons of Park Ave, N.Y., opposite the down-home Hatter family of Hog Holler, Ky. The families think they only have to live together in the Hatter cabin for a month, but unbeknownst to them, they must also endure a series of challenges.

Being a lying cheater, Fastbuck intends to make the challenges increasingly impossible so the $1 million cannot be won. Yet the desperate Tuttletons and simple Hatters comically endure everything thrown at them, including exchanging clothes and accents.

In the process of the reality show, the two families become friends and begin to respect and care for each other.

"I don't watch reality television and really don't know how big 'Survivor' is," said a cast member. "I'm very busy and I don't care."

Several of the students in "Surviving Reality" said they have seen reality television shows but prefer other such as "Glee," "Big Bang Theory" and "The Office."

The stage is divided into two sections, which include the Hatter Estate trailer park and the corporate headquarters of the television show.

The comedy includes a young director fresh out of school, two obsequious producers, an elderly and egotistical emcee and a compilation of all known reality shows for an evening of theater hysteria.

"No one in the performing arts judges you," said another cast member. "It's a really supportive group, and it's a great time."

The show includes 24 people who don't always get to be together for rehearsal but all want to participate when they can, Nordstrom said.

"The show is for all family members," he said.

Sabina Dana Plasse:


What: "Surviving Reality"

Where: Community Campus auditorium in Hailey

When: Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 3-6, at 7 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

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