JOHN DAY - For the second time in four years, the Grant Union Drama class performed "Divine Stella Devine."
The play, which was shown on May 14-15, showcased the talents of 19 students in this play-within-a-play. The mini-play is called "Civil War Darlin's" and is based on "Gone with the Wind."
Stella Devine (Sheilah Mezzo) is the star of the Ritz, a successful playhouse. She is directed by Colin (Noel Nelson) and has scripts written just for her by the eccentric playwright, Micole (Angie Allen). Her fellow cast mates include Dash Tippet (Jacob Lallatin), the handsome yet egotistical costar of the Ritz; Trevor Trace (Laramie Horn), an actor who believes that he is in the Civil War; and Marilyn Monet (Jeannie Allen), the dim-witted beauty of the Ritz.
Everything is going well for Stella until Ginger Snow (Sabrina Hoffman) comes along. This supposed Southern belle pretends to be a fan of Stella's and hangs around the set until she lands a chance to read Stella's lines. She turns out to be so good that the owner of the Ritz, Natasha Witherstreet (Natosha Brown) offers her the lead role.
Despite Stella's efforts to prove that she is still young enough for the part, Ginger steals the role. However, she is exposed by Billy Ross (Preston Ake and Daniel Soupir) and Loeta (Jamie Cernazanu), a staff writer of the New York Times and his fiancé. They pose as a rich oil tycoon and translator to go undercover and sensationalize a story.
Stella gets her part back, but when her long lost love, Sam, (Alejo Ortiz), comes back in her life, she realizes that she is ready to retire and marry him. Ginger takes over for Stella at the Ritz.
Throughout the play, many characters bring comic relief. Chad and Brad (Ethan Bellinger) are identical twins. Chad wants to be in show business, but his family disapproves. When he runs away to the Ritz, Brad comes to find him and tell him something important, but quickly becomes distracted by Marilyn. Agnes (Kristina Kreger) is the company seamstress, and gets laughs out of her outraged tirade to Colin.
Linda Lane (Kaitlin Andrews) brings her beautiful daughter Lori (Hanna Ellison) to audition for the play. Lori, Nelle (Sabrina Humbird) and Nina (Leanna Reasoner) all get parts in the Civil War play, and follow Dash everywhere.
Penelope Jane (Missy Hale) comes into the end of the play with a western twang, and follows in Ginger's footsteps by telling Ginger how much she enjoys her performances, and asks for an autograph, just as Ginger had done to Stella so long ago. Will she try to steal Ginger's part?
Both nights were a success. Seniors Kaitlin Andrews and Jamie Cernazanu said it was a great finale for their senior year. Although the seniors will not be back next year, many underclassmen expect to continue the tradition of great plays.