BFHS to present fall play with a little pandemic flare this weekend

The Belle Fourche High School presents a play each fall and this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be offering the same quality show with a tweak to the format. Courtesy photo

BELLE FOURCHE –– The show must go on — even with a global pandemic impacting all arenas of life — the Belle Fourche High School fall play will grace the town with three unique productions this weekend.

Instead of a typical three-act play, the crew opted for a “One Act Showcase” of three plays. The productions were written in collaboration with Director Derek Olson, Anna Robins, Olson’s wife, Nathan Schrier, a former Belle Fourche High School student, and Toi Lyn Flick, a Belle Fourche Middle School Teacher who Olson has directed plays with for the better part of a decade.

“We went with three different tones and concepts to keep it an exciting and fun night,” Olson said.

The three shows are “The Dark Road to Vostenia,” a fantasy-comedy that offers a different take on popular fairy tales, written by Olson and Robins. “Memories” is a drama with some comedy elements about a man who lost his memory and, in order to save the future, has to remember his past, written by Olson and Schreier. Lastly, the high school students will present “Endings are Hard!” which is a comedy where the characters keep going until the perfect ending is created, written by Olson and Flick.

“This will be a very fun night of plays that should have something for everyone, some slapstick, some jokes, some drama, and more,” Olson said.

The pandemic didn’t only impact the production. Olson and his crews had to get creative.

“Instead of one show where we have over 20 kids at every practice, we practiced each one act on different days to keep some separation of the kids,” he said. “The last couple of weeks we have had everyone together but tried to keep them in their own groups when not on stage.”

Alongside rehearsing and memorizing lines, the group dealt with illnesses and quarantines.

“Which hasn’t been the easiest, but the kids have been amazing and have powered through every speed bump we have hit,” Olson said, proud of his group of students.

After a dozen years directing for the Belle Fourche High School, Olson said this will be his last fall play.  

“This is my twelfth year of directing, and it has been an absolute pleasure, and I am so happy I have gotten to do this for so long, but with so many other things on my plate, I can’t give these plays the attention they deserve anymore and I know the person who will take over for me will do a fantastic job,” he said. “It’s fitting that my last full play will be the craziest one to put on. I just want to thank the school, the kids, and my fellow director, Toi Lyn Flick, for making it work even in the most trying times.”

The show will debut tonight and will continue Friday and Saturday. All showtimes are at 7 p.m. at the Belle Fourche Rec Center located at 1111 National St. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Olson said crews will block off about half of the seats in the theater to encourage social distancing and are asking people in groups to feel free to sit together, but leave seats in-between their group and other groups.

Additionally, Olson said he encourages visitors to wear face masks, adding he’ll be wearing  “very stylish” masks himself.  Because of the pandemic, each night’s production will also be livestreamed for the people who either can’t attend in person or who are being cautious. For more information about livestreaming the events, visit the school’s website: https://www.bellefourche.k12.sd.us/.

The following cast lists portray each character and who they’re being played by for each production:

The Dark Road to Vostenia
Lord Crewe, Hansel, Frog Prince: Dyllen Martin
Ulric: Dustin Kolb
Terrowin: Alyssa Frisbie
Tybalt: Treyton Johnson
Carac, Lord Peyton: Carston Sechser
Sadon: Morgan Collins
Witch: Nyomi Woltkamp
Rapunzel, Frog Princess: Evelyn Lyons
Queen Rowan: Alex Scofield
Rumplestiltskin: Sophia Thompson
Black Knight: Orin Olson

Memories
Paul: Conrad Schreier
Steven: Loki Larive
Pierce: Treyton Johnson
Jennifer: Kyrstin Hayworth
Charlie: Kaitlyn Thompson
Annie: Naomi Bricker

Endings are Hard!
Vincent: Orin Olson
Andrew: Dustin Kolb
Nathan: Ethan Staley
Teddy: Elijah Pomrenke
Charlene: Olivia Furrow
Vendor: Rose Sprigler
Writer: Emma Crawford

Tech: Elliot Kreager, Alex Voyles, Serena Davis, KarandaKay Davis, Ari Richter, Natalie McCoy, Jesse Walker and Colton Keegan

“It hasn’t always been easy this year but I have seen the kids work so hard to make this happen and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Olson said.

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