SHS drama club to perform melodrama

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“Caught in the Villain’s Web” features the usual melodrama problems — an overbearing mother trying to force her son into a loveless marriage, the son instead falling in love with the young nurse hired to care for the hypochondriac matriarch, the villain trying to ruin everything, and the hero son saving the girl of his dreams from certain death.

Elva Osterreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Socorro High School actors rehearse a scene from “Caught in the Villain’s Web.” Above, Ricardo Flores plays Cyril Bothingwell and Asher Guengerich plays Brockton, the butler. The play will be performed Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at Socorro High School’s Seery Auditorium.

Director Marsha Sabol chose the play because she knew the cast would enjoy the dialogue and action.

“I love melodramas,” she said. “I thought it would be fun, which it has been. There’s a big, exciting finale in which Felicity is in danger and has to be saved.”

Sabol said she and the cast modernized much of the play’s vocabulary, which they thought audiences wouldn’t understand, but some lines were too good to change. “The cast kept some of the lines even though the vocabulary is archaic,” she said.

Sabol has retired from teaching English and drama at Socorro High School, but volunteered to produce the drama club’s production this year because of her ties with some of the students in the cast.

“The kids who are seniors now were freshmen when I started doing the drama club,” she said. “They wanted to continue doing the club. I enjoy it.”

The drama club meets after school and in the evenings, and has performed one evening production every year during the four years Sabol has taught at the high school.

This year’s cast includes Diana Sauls as the matriarch Mrs. Larkfield, Asher Guengerich as the evil butler Brockton, Ricardo Flores as the villain Cyril Bothingwell, Leah Guengerich as the young nurse and heroine Felicity Fair, and Joe Sauls as the hero Malvern Larkfield.

Other cast members are Adonnis Lozano, Ivy Stover, Sarah Frail and Mia Salome.

Ariel Dillon is in charge of costumes and sets.

Damian Ocampo, the high school athletic and activities director, has been very supportive of drama at the school and will perform a non-speaking part in the play.

“He’s very enthusiastic about drama,” Sabol said. “He’s helped set up performances and provided the cast with treats. He may even make a guest appearance in the play as a plant that the villain hides behind.”

Sabol said Ocampo is the only faculty member performing in the play.

The performance is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in Seery Auditorium at the high school. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.