Meet the Odd Squad, a group of a-typical superheroes who band together to stop a psychopathic former inspiration speaker from using weapons of mass destruction.
“Each actor kind of took the favorite things about themselves and created their own characters,” said Dave. “The actress playing Aprés Brûlée likes French and baking things so the character is a chef. The character also brings out her sassy side, which is hilarious.”
The student who plays Cog Von Clank—described as a “wandering robotic nomad”—says his speech impediment was actually the impetus for developing the character’s voice.
“When I was in 7th grade I used to stutter. I found that if I spaced out each word and made it robotic sounding I could get through my lines more easily,” says the now 10th grader. “I also improvise at least one or two of my lines each performance, because I can’t remember them. I think it adds to the randomness of the character.”
Although the focus of the performance has mostly been on the actors themselves, the production has been a group effort with much of the behind-the-scenes work being done by students in the high school studio art, maker, and woodworking classes.
“Dave came to me last year asking if my classes could construct theater flats (also known as Broadway flats), which provide a backdrop for the theatrical piece. As all of the flats are identical, there are a few different ways the "walls" can be arranged depending on the director's vision,” said Woodworking Teacher Aaron Carter. “We made four 4x8 ft. flats and primed/painted them the tone they selected.”
Three studio art students then spoke with Dave about what he envisioned for the look of the set. The entire class then painted the design that was created by those students onto the theater flats.
“I really like to draw and I really like to paint but this was different because it’s more than just art,” said one of the set designers. “It’s pretty awesome knowing that I helped bring the stage to life and made the play a reality.”
The Maker class was vital in creating the giant mechanical arm for Cog Von Clank among other props.
“When you collaborate you’re including so many more parts of the school and highlight the unique talents of more students,” said Dave. “There a sense of pride that develops. As an audience member I can say ‘I made that prop’ or ‘I did this or that.’”
“The Odd Squad” will open first for an all-school performance Thursday afternoon before their evening performance Friday at 6:30pm. This is the first time Stanbridge will offer an evening performance.
“When there’s no sun outside it gives the performance a more intimate feeling, a more real feeling. It makes it feel like you’re going to the theatre instead of it just being an assembly,” said Dave. “I wanted to give these students that experience.”
Join us for “The Odd Squad” Friday, April 22 at 6:30pm in Marilyn Center.