Frontier students return to stage for ‘The Outsiders’

  • Rehearsal for a fight scene in “The Outsiders” at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Cheryl Moreau, portraying Bob Sheldon, threatens Ponyboy Curtis, played by Oliver Brown, while Malcom Howard, who plays Randy, restrains him during rehearsals for “The Outsiders” at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Abby Burgess as Cherry Valance and Oliver Brown as Ponyboy Curtis rehearse a scene from “The Outsiders” at Frontier Regional School on Wednesday. Griffin Montminy is at the popcorn stand in the background. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Students rehearse a scene from “The Outsiders” at Frontier Regional School on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Students rehearse a scene from “The Outsiders” at Frontier Regional School on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Rehearsal for a fight scene in “The Outsiders” at Frontier Regional School on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 12/1/2021 6:56:10 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Students from Frontier Regional School are donning their greaser jackets as they prepare to perform “The Outsiders” this weekend, the school’s first production since the start of the pandemic.

The play will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5.

Adapted from the 1967 novel by S.E. Hinton, “The Outsiders” follows Ponyboy Curtis as he navigates a gang rivalry between the “Greasers” and the upper-class “Socs.” Frontier Regional students read the book in eighth grade and those involved in the play’s production said they loved working with familiar material as they returned to the stage for the first time in several years.

“It’s one of those stories that a lot of people love,” said junior Abby Burgess while taking a break during rehearsal. “We are set up for a good show.”

Burgess is playing Cherry, the girlfriend of antagonist Bob Sheldon. She said preparing for the show has been great fun and she “has loved every second of it.”

“The rehearsal process has been invigorating,” Burgess said. “It has really been an honor to be in this show. We have a great cast.”

Junior Eva Howard, who is playing Dallas “Dally” Winston, said they have a young cast, but everyone has been doing a great job and she “is really appreciative of everyone” involved.

“Everyone enjoyed reading it,” Howard said. “It’s been nice to revisit it.”

David Peck, Frontier’s Drama Club Advisor and the show’s director, has had to take a leave of absence for medical reasons, but he has been following his cast and crew from afar as different members of the school and community step in to help out.

He said he chose “The Outsiders” because of the cast’s familiarity with the novel and because it isn’t too difficult of a production as everyone shakes off the rust from not performing for several years.

“It was a choice coming out of the pandemic,” Peck said by phone. “I wanted something a little easier to stage, something my cast and crew would already know.”

He said he is “very happy” with how production has come along, especially in his absence, and the kids are all happy to be performing again.

“They love the stage, they love the process, they love to be together,” Peck said. “It’s a great thing to have them all come back and be excited about a production again.”

Christina Quimby, an eighth-grade English teacher, was filling in for Peck a few weeks ago as she taught students stage-combat techniques in preparation for the show’s “rumble” scene, in which the two gangs hold an all-out brawl.

Quimby said it’s nice to “put on a show” again and this will be the third version of “The Outsiders” the students will have come across after reading the book and seeing the movie.

“We always show them the movie and they say it sucks and the book is better,” Quimby joked.

Junior Cheryl Moreau, who is playing Bob Sheldon and is the show’s tech manager, said rehearsing for the show “has been a lot of fun” as she steps outside of her usual roles to the play one of the show’s antagonists.

“I didn’t even audition,” Moreau said. “I’m usually the parent friend. For this I kind of have to just be aggressive and be the bad guy.”

Moreau said it has been a group effort to pull the production together and it’s going to “be a very good show.”

“Everyone has come together, it’s been really amazing,” she said. “We’re excited.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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