Meet Mrs. Ethel

William Blount Vagabond Players bring antics of ‘Curious Savage’ to stage

There will be much hilarity on stage at William Blount High School the weekend of April 23-25 when the school’s Vagabond Players present a comedy in three acts. “The Curious Savage,” by John Patrick, is filled with characters who leave the audience wondering whether there is less sanity to be found outside the walls of a sanatorium that there is inside.

The Vagabond Players previewed their characters in a Costume Parade on March 6 that revealed much about the interesting mix of “personalities” found in “The Curious Savage.” “It was our first attempt at getting costumes together. This is the time when our students reveal their costumes for the first time to me,” said Renda Crowe, theater teacher.

The play is a warm-hearted tale of Mrs. Ethel Savage, an eccentric and very wealthy widow who decides to ignore her greedy stepchildren and establish a fund to help others realize their hopes and dreams. The stepchildren react by having Ethel committed to a sanatorium, hoping to shock her into her senses. The people Ethel Savage meets inside the sanatorium walls lead the stepchildren on a merry chase that ends up teaching the audience much about life and family.

Crowe said the students also did a photo shoot for promotional materials and created a display for advertising. “We do a number of shots - 600 to 700 - in group and individual poses with a range of emotions so we can pick the best poses,” she said. “We try to reveal their characters through their shots so the audience gets an idea of what they’ll see.”

Crowe said they started planning for the play on Jan. 4 right after the students returned from the Christmas holiday break.

Crowe said there will be a large opening scene involving a large number of students.

“That portion is student-directed. I try to involve as many students as I can so they get the experience of theater early on in their high school career,” said Crowe.

The play will be presented at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 25. Tickets, available at the school or box office, are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

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