"I’ve never been a lead for the high school before," said senior Hudson Aikins. "People fill up the seats and it's super nerve-racking."
Despite the nerves, Aikins, who plays Private Eye Rumpelstiltskin, encourages the community to watch the spring production, "Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye," set for March 11, 12 and 13.
"This is literally geared toward all audiences," he said. "If you have a kid that's like three-years-old, they’re going to enjoy it. It’s catered to all ages and really funny."
Rumpelstiltskin stands out from other productions because it's a genre none of the students have done at Marshfield High School. It also has a cast of 29 students with a larger amount of young and/or first-time performers.
"This is a much more bold and big performance style," said Greg Holtschneider, director of the MHS spring production. “I tell them to think about cartoons. Things don't just happen...they happen BIG! That is what we are working towards."
Rumpelstiltskin Private Eve, just like other MHS productions, depend on an audience and finances to thrive. In order to put on a show, Holtschneider said the school district provides a set budget for the theater department to put together the performance.
"The proceeds are deposited into the school account," he said. "Because shows are expensive to put together, and audience sizes are shrinking as we become a more digitized audience, shows rarely make a lot, or any money. We appreciate the school supporting us with a budget that allows us to put on the performance and educate these students in this style of theatre performance. We could choose to increase ticket prices, but our community is quite supportive and I would rather not do that, if it can be avoided. My goal for each show is to try and break even. I don’t want to be a burden on the school’s budget and it is better to break even and keep our ticket prices at a reasonable level."
The MHS theatre club, called “Center Stage,” generally helps fund any additional costs necessary for performances by selling “patrons” for the performances, according to Holtschneider.
"This year, with COVID restrictions and then all of the snow days in February, we will not be able to collect these patrons as we traditionally would," he said. "We also use these patron funds to support a Theatre scholarship that we award to a qualified graduating senior that is choosing to continue their education in the field of theatre performance and/or education."
The production starts 7 p.m. at the Carl and Glessie Young Community Auditorium in Marshfield High School. The box office is open from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Call 417-859-2165, ext. 1728 for more information.