Acting with a Twist


Students in advanced acting participated in plays on Nov. 20 and 21, but they had a little more experience on their side. These plays have been going on the past two years at BVN, and will continue to be a tradition.
“Each year, I bring in Actor’s Choice Members (Senior Actors in their 70s and 80s) who still love to be in plays and have them act with my Advanced Acting classes,” drama and theater teacher Max Brown said.
Actors Choice is an agency devoted to helping acting enthusiasts to get into the entertainment industry.
“I haven’t been acting lately because I started having some health challenges,but you got to work with what you got. Thats the deal. So I found this wonderful group called Actors Choice, and I started participating in it,” Connie Bohannon-Roberts said.
Bohannon-Roberts worked with other senior citizens to act in the two plays Advanced Acting and senior citizens did together. She acted in “The Lottery,” a production based on a short story by Shirley Jackson.
“I have a mute part because of my laryngitis and some other issues, but I wanted to give it a backstory, so I decided that I would be the town fool,” Connie said.
The other play is “Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden” by Thornton Wilder.
Besides putting on a show, Brown thinks that the plays are a good learning opportunity.
“I began this project in an effort to have my students realize that they need not major in theatre (95% don’t) in order for the arts and theatre in particular to be a part of their lives forever,” Brown said. “The seniors also get a kick out of working with younger people. It challenges them to be better, to be good examples, and to foster their love for theater in their work ethic.”
Some people just view the play as a fun way to showcase their acting talents with people they don’t usually act with.
“I really looked forward to the play,” sophomore Jake Beren said. “The old people are a pleasure to work with and it was a lot of fun.”
While they may be old, the senior citizens acted very lively on stage.
“They are really good actors and they play their parts really well,” Beren said.
Most of the actors and actresses are seasoned veterans at the job.
“I started acting from the time I was four years old, I did it in high school, at Shawnee Mission East, and I won the state forensic tournament in 1961. I went on to college at KU and got a degree in English, speech and theater,”Bohannon-Roberts said.
Bohannon-Roberts also started the Creede Repertory Theater in Colorado, one of the most nationally acclaimed theaters.
Actors and teachers involved with the show had high hopes for the turnout and wanted a lot of people to see their work.
“I think both the advanced actors and the Actors Choice members love it [and] I loved seeing the good turnout this year,” Brown said.