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Yosemite High Student Writes, Directs Melodrama

OAKHURST – J.R. Romero is a triple-threat. The Yosemite High School senior has been an actor at the iconic Golden Chain Theatre for 3 years, and now, Romero has written and will direct his own melodrama, with proceeds set to benefit the theater.

Production of “Don’t Hiss Me Off,” written by Romero as his YHS Senior Project, is slated for the Golden Chain stage on Saturday, Mar. 16, at 7 p.m., with a matinee scheduled for Sunday, Mar. 17, at 2 p.m.Billed as a “mini-melodrama,” the short play marks Romero’s writing and directing debut at age 18.

“My senior project is to direct a show that I wrote, called ‘Don’t Hiss Me Off,’ and my plan is to do a fundraiser for the Golden Chain Theatre,” explains Romero, “to raise money so they can get new sound equipment, or costumes or whatever the needs of the theater are.”

Romero has previously acted in Golden Chain productions including “Fame of Tombstone” and “Only an Orphan Girl.” He refers to his premiere show, “Don’t Hiss Me Off,” as a “typical melodrama.”

“The banker wants to foreclose the bakery if the heroine does not marry him,” Romero recounts. “He wants the business for himself so he can change it into his tavern business.”

Melodrama usually refers to a play that exaggerates plot and characters to heighten emotional response from the audience: an over-wrought audience is a key to successful melodrama.

When you’re watching melodrama, audience members are actually a part of it,” says Romero. “People can boo the Villain, cheer the Hero and that sort of thing. There are a total of four roles: the Villain, the Heroine, the Hero and the Widow, who is the mother of the Heroine.”

At this point, Romero likes acting and writing equally well.

“Whenever I act in a play I kind of feel inspired to write something of my own,” he says.

Of his future as a director, Romero simply remarks, “So far, I feel confident about it.”

Hollywood, watch out! This triple-threat YHS student may be coming after you. Cue the scary music!

Casting for “Don’t Hiss Me Off” will take place later this month. Auditions are open to the public. Contact Mary Lou Finley (Lulu), GTC Board Vice President, for more information.

The Golden Chain Theater is located at 42310 Highway 41.


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