There will be a grand unveiling of a new play Thursday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 24, at Lakeland High School.
LHS senior Samuel Miller has written a script for his senior project called Never Say Goodbye, a play that shows how the choices you make can affect those around you. The story follows three friends going through high school together, beginning in 2001 and the effects of 9/11, Miller said. One of the characters is influenced enough by the events that he joins the military. “The play looks at how that affects those around him,” Miller said.
Despite the serious sounding synopsis, Miller said there is humor in the play. “It’s very comical play until you get toward the end,” Miller stated.
With a cast of nearly 15, all of the students involved have worked extremely hard to make sure this production is the best it can be, Miller said.
Miller began working on ideas for the play last March and began writing in early August. Since it was his senior project, a lot of the decisions were left to him, from directing to casting and sound and lights. “The biggest challenge is working with the cast,” Miller said, noting that being the same age as those in the cast meant it was challenging to feel in control and direct them.
“It was fun working with the characters and going through the creative process. I really enjoyed that,” Miller said.
Directed by Samuel Miller and Sarah Comerford, the show will premiere at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, with additional showings at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24.
Miller hopes that audience enjoys the play and doesn’t see it as a student-led production. “I hope they see it as a high school play with a good cast and script,” he said.
The cast includes Nate Smith as Aidan Smith, Michaela Mellinger as Grace Green, Dalton Schmidt as Cameron Faye, Violet Litke as Anne Smith, Preston Gilts as Oliver Smith, and Taylor Wentworth as Alice Queen.
Additional cast members are Nate Plew as Cooper Brown, Erin Miller as Mrs. M, Jaime Leu as Tara Clark, Jennifer Mobley as Recruiter, Garret Faust as Mr. Miner, and Emory Klopfenstein, Joy Sustaita and Rebecca Wooster.
Light and sound is by Tyler Brown, with Miller and Violet Litke on set design. Stage crew is Autumn Keplinger, Heather Schmidt, Carlee Richardson and Chloe Sirk, with Keplinger also handling hair and makeup.