‘The play’s the thing’

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
The Brandon High School theater department is holding a bottle drive to fundraise for their upcoming shows and supplies for the department. The bottle drive will be 3-7 p.m., on Dec. 10, at Bueches Food World, 400 N. Ortonville Road.
“Because COVID hit the theater program particularly hard last year, and even canceling the musical back in March 2020, we wanted to come back in full swing,” said Jeb Calhoun, a junior at BHS. “We typically do a fall play and spring musical, but it was quite a rocky start and we didn’t get the okay until a bit later than desired, and because of this we chose a smaller play.”
Calhoun said the department is hoping to do a full-length musical in the fall, but because of the underfunding of the department, it is a challenge to do both. Funds go towards play rights, costumes, props, a band if needed, music rights, and plenty of set pieces as well.

The fall production is titled “The Pirates of the Cafeteria,” and more information will follow in the Nov. 27 edition of The Citizen.
Calhoun stressed the importance of theater to not only himself but the other students.
“Theater, to me, is a form of self-expression,” he said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to get up there and portray a character. And the family you get after every play is such a wonderful connection, and there are such amazing people in our play.”
He also said that he felt having an outlet for performing arts was important in every school.
“Aside from my personal thoughts, theater is so important,” he said. “Think of a world without acting or without performing arts. Media in that sense is so embedded in our culture, and to see it slowly die in our school is really, really sad. To me, there’s a lot of personality to a school with a theatre program.”
Other community members agree, which is why in addition to the scheduled bottle drive on Dec. 10, Brandon Parks and Recreation Director Fred Waybrant is allowing them to use the parks and recreation bottle donation bin to collect as well. Any bottles and cans donated between Nov. 25-Dec. 31 will go to the Brandon Theater Department. The bin is located next to the dumpster behind Brandon Fire Station One, 53 South Street, Ortonville.
“This is our way of giving back because the donations have been generous to parks and recreation and we would like to share,” said Waybrant. “The supervisor truly supports the parks and rec giving back to the community. It wasn’t just me making that decision.”
Anyone looking to donate returnables can do so at Bueche’s, 400 N. Ortonville Road, on Dec. 10, or by putting them in the donation bin at 53 South St, Ortonville, between Nov. 25 and Dec. 31.

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