- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - Kinzey Cooper walked into one of the North Platte High School computer labs last Monday, pointing at her head.

“How am I going to get this out?” Cooper asked, laughing.

Her hair had been backcombed, hairsprayed and backcombed some more in an effort to make her look like the tree she plays in “Romeo and Juliet: Six Very Busy Days,” by Robert Wing. The script was one of three being performed back-to-back during the NPHS spring play, “An Evening of One-Acts.”

“Romeo and Juliet: Six Very Busy Days” is a modern take on Shakespeare’s classic romance, according to junior Kelaney Stalker, one of the production’s student directors.

“The Actor’s Nightmare,” by Christopher Durang, is about a man pulled from the audience into a play he’s completely unfamiliar with. “Fifteen Minute Hamlet,” by Tom Stoppard, is a condensed version of Shakespeare’s script.

David Cooper, the advisor for the production, said he wanted students to be part of the learning process and to work together to accomplish one goal. He felt that having them work on three scripts would allow more of them to get involved.

“The shows this spring are student-directed and student-produced,” David said. “The students helped select the shows, direct, set design, costume and props. I took on the role of the advisor and producer of the show to keep the show going.”

Cooper said the overall goal was for students to become involved and learn how to produce and direct. Stalker said at first she was nervous about being a student director, but she’s enjoyed the experience.

“I like being a leader,” Stalker said. “I like being able to make my ideas happen, and I like talking to everyone.”

Stalker said she believes all plays are good for students, because they learn to interact and be more confident.

“Overall the students have loved the aspects of student-directed production and we will continue it in the future,” Cooper said.

There are more than 50 characters in the three one-acts, making the cast massive.

“We go through a lot of makeup,” Stalker laughed, adding, “and hairspray.”

Performances took place on May 3 and May 5 in the Performing Arts Center at North Platte High School.

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Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, http://www.nptelegraph.com

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