Two one-act plays by the Jamestown High School Theater program take a look at how strangers on a subway platform can look at fate, hope, choices and consequences in life.
Performances of "Tracks," a drama by Peter Tarsi, and "On the Way," an original comedy by Tony McIntyre, JHS Theater director, will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, in the JHS Theater, 1509 10th St. NE. Tickets are $4 for students and $6 for adults at the door.
Both plays portray characters on an unhappy path defined by choices, McIntyre said. "Tracks" is a serious approach with questions about life and mortality, while "On the Way" is a comedic approach with characters who try to change the direction they're headed.
Each play is set at a subway platform with the train as a metaphor to say people move in one direction and tend to stay on track, McIntyre said. The two plays are designed to be performed together but not as a prequel or sequel, he said.
"The characters in 'Tracks' have to deal with the consequences of the lives they've lived already," he said. "The characters in 'On The Way' are on the front end and have the opportunity to change the path they've been on."
The cast of "Tracks" includes Alivia Hoke as Homeless Girl, Joseph Lauinger as Professor, Lindsey Kiecker as Lawyer, Abby Rang as Nun, Samara McDermid as Businesswoman, Cati Suckow as Old Man, Jackson Arends as Businessman, Ian Weis as High School Boy, Alexis Smith as High School Girl and Laura Levin as Waitress.
Weis said the two dating high school characters find themselves having car trouble and wind up on the subway platform. The characters can't understand how they entered train stations around the world and ended up there together.
"They all have problems and guilt," Weis said. "They're all on this station and feel connected somehow."
Hoke said her character is lost after running away with a boy at age 16, only to be abandoned without a job or place to live. She spends her days watching people going through the station, who often stop to tell her their problems, infuriating her.
"The characters all crave something and she just wants love and affection and someone to be there for her," Hoke said.
The "On the Way" cast includes Jazlyn Wick as Beatrice, Emma Wiley as Claire, Olivia Schriock as Miss Banks, Zoe Bennett as Beth, Michaela Adams as Debby, Monica Ripplinger as Ronda and Jacob Batz as Wilson.
Wick said Beatrice doesn't have an occupation and spends her days at the train station observing others and asking why they put themselves through routines that make them miserable every day.
"She looks at things, thinks about things and talks to people to get them to think about things," Wick said.
The play will resonate with high school kids who look for options to avoid following the path that everyone else is doing, she said. They see adults as set in their ways, she said.
Bennett said her character is an assistant to Miss Banks, a demanding business executive. Beatrice confronts her, asking why she continues to put up with an overbearing boss who makes her miserable, she said.
The production crew includes McKenzie Paul, stage manager, Paris Eslick and Jessica Schmitz on lighting, Emma Heyer and Nadia Netolicky on sound.
JHS will perform "Tracks" at the NDHA One Act Competition on April 1-2 at North Dakota State University.