In its second Theater for a Cause effort, the Smith-Cotton Theater Department will stage two one-act performances to benefit Citizens Against Spouse Abuse.
The fundraising performance is set for 7 p.m. Thursday in the Heckart Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5.
Theater for a Cause is a program that was started last year by former student Alec Wilken and is based on giving back to the Sedalia community by donating all of the proceeds of the production to local charity. Last year’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged” raised $500 for the Sedalia Area Literacy Council.
This year’s production is dedicated to CASA and focuses on women’s issues.
“I found a piece that I really liked and fit CASA’s mission,” said senior Caroline Young, who directed both this year’s and last year’s Theater for a Cause productions.
“Caroline was selected last May and this is mostly her play,” said theater arts teacher Teri Turner.
The first one-act scene, “I Dream Before I Take the Stand,” is about a woman, played by Olivia Smith, who is a victim of sexual assault pleading her case before the court, while the defendant, played by Austin Wood, tries to argue against her. The second scene is selections from “The Most Massive Woman Wins.” In this act, three women, played by Heather Bryson, Ehlana Gilger and Alex Swords, find themselves in a liposuction waiting room and begin to talk with each other about their experiences and what led them there.
“The play shows you how some women feel, or how anyone can feel,” Gilger said. “I think it will help people think, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t treat her like that,’ or ‘Maybe I should be nicer to those people.’”
The cast has been rehearsing since January, memorizing their lines and working on their characters.
“This is an open script, which means there are a lot of different ways I could take my character, unlike ‘Anne Frank’ last year where there was a real specific character I played,” Wood said, “It lets me really have fun with my character and develop my own background for him.”
The good of donating to CASA seems to be just a bonus as the students enjoy doing something they love. The themes of the acts coupled with CASA’s mission help shed some light on more sensitive subjects.
“Every show is a different experience and I enjoy it no matter what,” Gilger said.
Eli Kemp is a student at Smith-Cotton High School.