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Thorson-penned YHS Play Explores Timely Themes For Teens

OAKHURST – On stage at the Yosemite High School Theater this week is a play written and directed by department chair Lars Thorson, starring seniors Jocelyn Boe and Jonathan Wharton.

The play follows two high school seniors trying to figure out where they belong in the world and how to transition from adolescence into adulthood.

It’s only up for three nights, so don’t miss out. Curtains rise on Thursday, Apr. 30 at 7 p.m., as the YHS Theater Arts Department presents the world premiere production of “Doing the Human Act,” a multi-media production crafted by Thorson based on the novel “Very Far Away from Anywhere Else,” by Ursula LeGuin.

The show also runs on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at 7 p.m.

The evening will also include a short one-act “Small World,” by Tracey Scott Wilson.

“Doing the Human Act” features Jonathan Wharton as Owen, 17, an intellectual struggling with high school cliques, parental’ expectations, and his own dreams for the future. He meets musician Natalie, 18, played by Jocelyn Boe. Natalie has similar struggles, but is more focused on her career. As the two become friends, they learn that communication can be difficult when emotions become involved.

Thorson’s goal is to allow the audience experience to be both theatrical and cinematic. The play merges live action onstage with film sequences that add to and comment on the play.

“I want the audience to feel like they are watching a play and a movie at the same time,” says writer/director Lars Thorson. “The play has a lot of descriptions, and the film sequences help the audience fill in the gaps and can better understand and appreciate what Owen is thinking and feeling.”

Thorson says this year is just right to bring this show to light.

“I have some very talented actors and a talented cinematographer, student Kevin Kirk, so I had the luxury to produce this play at this time.”

The evenings will also offer the opportunity for people to contribute to the newly established Amy Schneider Community Award.

“Amy Schneider was a very special person who helped everyone she knew,” Thorson explains. “She gave her time, money, love and energy to many teachers, to her church, and other organizations. Because of her giving heart, I’ve decided to start the Amy Schneider Community Award. It will go to a senior who has demonstrated a spirit of altruism in their life.”

Amy Schneider passed away on Apr. 15, leaving behind a family including two teenage daughters, one in theater at YHS.

Thorson’s plan is to use money from the Theater Arts Award, along with any donations they receive from the community. During the run of this spring play, “Doing the Human Act,” students will have a donation box set up at the theater for contributions to the fund.

“My hope is that this will become an ongoing award.”

Checks can be made out to the YHS Scholarship Foundation noting Amy’s name in the memo line.

Tickets for Doing the Human Act are available at the door. Students $5 and adults $7.

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