McIntosh play wins region, going to state

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The McIntosh drama department has staged their production of “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead,” a few times now, (there is a free performance, donations accepted, tonight at the school at 7 p.m.), and the show always gets an emotional reaction.

“We haven’t had a show where people didn’t cry,” said McIntosh drama teacher, Tanya Gruber. “It reaches people of all ages in very different ways. Kids can empathize with characters who feel that no one is listening and parents can see elements of their relationships in the ones presented in the show.”

It got a good reaction at the region one act competition as well, winning the title and sending the show to the state competition next Saturday.

“I read six or seven different plays trying to find one to enter for the one act competition and this one spoke to me,” Gruber said, adding that it was very topical and produced some strong images in her mind.

The cast has been rehearsing the show since September and several cast members are also in McIntosh’s upcoming production of “The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a much-lighter show, which goes up next weekend as well. Gruber has seen the students exceed her expectations in being able to handle the emotional impact of the show and also transition to one that couldn’t be more different.

“’Bang, Bang, You’re Dead’ is very physically and mentally demanding,” Gruber stated. “We do a lot of physical warm-ups and character warm-ups.” Gruber added that during warm-ups, cast members have talked about the show and their characters, but have also dicussed how things relate to them personally. That investment by the cast, particularly in the message the show conveys, was one of the things Gruber felt drove the show.

“We weren’t so focused on winning region as much as getting the message out there,” she said. “The kids are excited and have worked really hard, giving 150 percent on it every day.”

McIntosh kicks off the state competition next Saturday at 10 a..m. at Veterans High School in Kathleen, Ga. They will compete against seven other schools. Performances for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” are Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, Nov. 12, 14 and 17. Showtimes are 7 p.m. for Friday and Wednesday and 2:30 p.m. for Sunday. Tickets are $5 for 13 and under, $8 for students and $10 for adults.