Gateway: Living

Peninsula High theatre group steps out of its comfort zone in latest production

Peninsula High drama coach Kara Beloate, far right, provides a few tightening comments for the cast.
Peninsula High drama coach Kara Beloate, far right, provides a few tightening comments for the cast. Special to the Gateway

Peninsula High School’s Play Production Class will present “A Night of Renaissance, The Tragedy of Orpheus,” a comedy by Jim and Jane Jeffries at the PHS Milton S. Boyd Auditorium at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 14).

PHS senior Cat Tyler, who plays the Queen, declared, “It’s a hilarious take on Renaissance plays, full of goofy comedy, and music with a modern spin. I’ve learned that even ‘weird’ theatre can be fun!”

Classmate Kwan Jerome Midgette, who plays Johnny Lumley, feels, “It’s an interesting comedic story that has great characters and is just fun. I have never met people as talented, caring or funnier than the people I’ve met in this class.”

Freshman Arian Hoffman, who plays in the ensemble, says, “We all worked hard to put this play together to make it fun for our guests. I’ve learned that there is a lot more about plays than I thought, like putting the set together and remembering lines.”

“It’s such a funny play. We’re all just a big family,” said Hunter McNickle, who plays a page. “We argue and fight, but we also love and work together. We will always come through in the end.”

Junior David Bessex, who plays the Jester, insists you must, “Come see this play! It’s a wonderful experience for all ages, with dancing, singing, fighting and more. You get to see a jester, a fortune teller and a puppet show. Come see for yourself!”

Senior Amber Denny is the play’s head set designer and plays a page.

“This play is fun and interactive,” she said. “We’ve been working very hard on this production and it’s going to be very fun for both the audience and the cast. I’ve learned that a production like this takes a lot of team work and coordination.”

Director Kara Beloate said, “I decided to do this play because during my time at the PHS Theatre Department we have done a lot of heavy shows. I wanted to do something different, something I have never done before, something that the whole family could enjoy. This show has been a big challenge, as silly and fun as it is. It has moved me out of my comfort zone, and I have Greg Simon, our wonderful community volunteer, to thank for lending us his time and expertise in things ‘Renaissance.’ This play, the first of our theatre season, focuses on family entertainment.”

In January 2016, the theatre department will produce “The Snow Queen,” a play by Ron Nicol based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson.

“We hope families will experience the wonder, satisfaction and reward of theatre,” Beloate said.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and military, and are available at the door.

Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at