New Berlin — In what might be a first for a high school production, New Berlin Eisenhower High School will present three episodes of the hit television series Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone."
The production will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Eisenhower, 4333 S. Sunnyslope Road.
"I never heard of this done by a high school troupe before," said director Matthew Konkel.
Acknowledging that he has always been a big "Twilight Zone" fan, he said he wanted to do something different for the fall play, and with Halloween coming, the dark and twisty stories of "Twilight Zone" seemed perfect.
He picked three popular episodes and adapted them for stage, which turned out to be pretty easy, he said.
One of the episodes is "The Lonely" where a convict, living alone on an asteroid, receives from the police a realistic woman-robot. Connor Main plays Corry the convict supported by Alecia Hough as the robot woman.
"The Obsolete Man" focuses on a future totalitarian society where a librarian is declared obsolete and is sentenced to death. David Michaletz plays Wordsworth the librarian and Jacob Bernaden plays the Chancellor.
"It's a Good Life" is about an isolated family farm where a young boy has vast mental powers, but lacks emotional development and holds his terrified family captive to his every juvenile wish. Tommy Kuhnz plays the monster boy. He is supported by Nick Shinners and Jenny Dehler who play his parents.
The original series that aired from 1959 to 1964 was created by Rod Serling, who introduced each episode and appeared at the end. Konkel doesn't have Rod Serling, but he does have Rori McKechnie, who will take over Serling's part.
"She was explicit in her interpretation, her diction and her voice the resonance behind the words she was speaking," all made her just right for the role, Konkel said.
Also appearing will be Samuel Hintz, Tyler Behm, Aly Tovar, David Michaletz, Jacob Bernaden, Cassie Ganas, Zach Krocka, Ryan Majinski, Kassidy Pertle, Nick Shinners, Maddie Stoiber, Jenny Dehler, Sam Stoiber and Karina Battistini.
Another innovation will be that "Twilight Zone" will be presented in almost a theater in the round, with players and audience all on stage. With seats set up onstage, the audience will be on three sides of the action.
"The audience will be really close up," Konkel said. And there's a reason for that.
"There's a lot of subtlety in the show and the story that I feel wouldn't be picked up that much if the audience were way down there," he said.
— Jane Ford-Stewart
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