Female version of 'The Odd Couple' at ARGS
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Mar 13, 2013, 13:43
NEWS~PATRIOT/HOPEWELL NEWS/Ashley McLeod The Appomattox Regional Governor’s School performed their last major production of the school year, the female version of ‘The Odd Couple,’ last week.
The Appomattox Regional Governor’s School showcased their theatrical talents with their last showcase of the school year with performances of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple, Female Version.”
Starring junior Tyler Clarke and senior Caitlin McCutcheon as main characters Olive and Florence, the show provided fun and laughter for both the stars and the audience.
Based on the original version of “The Odd Couple,” Simon flipped the script of his play to switch the genders of the characters. In the original, the main characters were all men, having a poker night. This version featured women playing Trivial Pursuit.
“She (Florence/McCutcheon) comes to my house after having a little bit of marital issues, and I’m really sloppy while she’s really clean,” Clarke said.
The show focuses on the two friends, who become roommates after Florence separates from her husband. Olive is sloppy and care free, while Florence is an uptight clean freak. Olive tries to help Florence through her depression by getting her to go on a double date with the upstairs neighbors, which doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. After three weeks, Olive can’t take anymore and kicks Florence out, which leads to a surprise, yet happy ending.
Clarke, who began doing theater in middle school, said her emotions were mixed before the performances.
“It’s always fun to get up there and do it, but at the same time you’re always a little nervous to mess up,” Clarke said. “But I’m always excited as well.”
Morrie Piersol, theater instructor at ARGS and director of the play, said the gender change was a main part of the reason this play was chosen.
“We were looking for a current comedy, and had a lot more females than males, so this piece worked perfectly for our team,” Piersol said.
Along with Cindy Warren and Jason Campbell, both also teachers at ARGS, Piersol put together a cast and crew of students for the production. From the players to the set, students were involved in the whole process.
“Even the set was built by a stagecraft class taught by Warren, along with the help of volunteer parents,” Piersol said.
The governor’s school focuses on arts and technology programs for gifted students, such as visual arts, music, math and languages. The theater department does two main stage productions a year, as well as small pieces throughout the school year.
Piersol said the productions are for everyone, not just students and their families, and showcases that ARGS is much more than a school.
“We always welcome the community to look at ARGS as a local theater, and that they always know we’re here and they can come and see shows,” Piersol said.
NEWS~PATRIOT/HOPEWELL NEWS/Ashley McLeod Senior Caitlin McCutcheon, left, and junior Tyler Clarke, right, as main characters Olive and Florence
ARGS gives students an opportunity to explore their interests at a deeper level, and helps students find their passion and perfect it. The Governor’s School offers both core classes and specialized classes for the student’s area of focus while attending.
McCutcheon’s passion for acting brought her to ARGS, and has helped her continue her interest, as she plans to continue studying acting at the State University of New York after graduation.
“This school really fed my passion for acting, and what you get out of it is worth the sacrifice,” McCutcheon said.
“I hope that every kid that wants to pursue theater or any type of art really, will pay attention to schools like this, because they definitely need help getting more students. It’s definitely a good experience,” Clarke said.