‘The Outsiders’ pits humanity against social injustice

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“The Outsiders” cast members pictured left to right are Johnny, played by Jade Dickerson; Soda Pop played by Dade Wendt; Pony Boy, played by Dalton Brubaker; and Dallas, played by Korbyn Howe.

Call them what you want … losers, delinquents, outsiders. Ponyboy Curtis and his friends can’t seem to escape from these labels and are stuck marginalized by society. When two unfortunate Greasers, Johnny and Ponyboy, are assaulted by a rival gang, the result is a brawl that ends in the death of a Social gang member. As the boys go into hiding, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.

“‘The Outsiders’ is about people,” said FHS senior and student director Lance Glace. “It’s a story about one of the only things that connects humanity: the capability to struggle and suffer, but also find peace in one another. While life may be rough, people can and will group together to get past events that may seek to bring them down.”

With an emotionally resonant message of acceptance in the face of social injustice, “The Outsiders” conveys humanity’s destructive nature of an Us vs. Them mentality and the positive transformation that can occur when we choose to change this nature.

“This play is for anyone who needs a reminder of humanity, Glace said. “Not that cheap, generosity-ridden fantasy of humanity, but real humanity. Mutual suffering and comfort, regardless of who you are. The fact that humanity both craves and despises conflict and seeks to bring each other up yet put others down. This show is honest, so people with a decent grasp of honesty, or those who need some in their life should come and watch. I want them to feel closer to each other, to find comfort in the fact that everyone has issues and flaws, but everyone has positive traits as well. I want them to think twice before judging others based solely on things like social classes, addictions, etc.”

This production of “The Outsiders” is full of strong drama and relevant, timeless themes and was adapted by Christopher Sergel based on the award-winning novel by S.E. Hinton. Hinton’s book was first published in 1967 when she was only 17, altering the course of young adult fiction with its gritty and unapologetically honest storyline. Francis Ford Coppola solidified the story’s cultural appeal with the 1983 film featuring many young heartthrobs including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise.

“The Outsiders,” is a tale about teens, written by a teen and written for teens. And in this special FHS Theatre class production, the show is produced entirely by teens. Presented by the Acting 4 IB class, from tryouts to the final curtain call the students experience all aspects of theater from the challenging tasks of directing and acting to set design and lighting. Acting 4 IB is the highest level of theatre class offered at Flathead High School.

“I’ve been blessed with my cast,” Glace said. “It’s great to see and help my fellow students grow as actors and as people. I’m not gonna lie, when I started theater my freshman year due to absolute chance, I would of never guessed that I’d be in charge of it for a full show ... If there’s one thing I love about that class, it’s the ability to be honest with each other. We all genuinely want to see each other succeed, not only at theater, but at other life things as well. My classmates are all spirited people with their own ambitions beyond the theater department. They bring nothing but good ideas, good laughs and good times to class every single day.”

The cast of “The Outsiders” includes Dalton Brubaker, Jade Dickerson, Cameron Price, Rylee Burkhart, Korbyn Howe, Matt Nairn, Edgar Hall, Dade Wendt, Sami Huang, Jade Ware, Rylie Martin, Kirya Henderson, Justin Turner, Harmoni Kauffman, Ashley Denizen, Rece O’Connell, Becca Charlesworth and Chase Ammirata.

Supporting the cast behind the scenes is the stage and technical crew including: Abby Brooks, Rebekah Hopp, Lydia Wood, Shelbie Guckenberg, Kay Gibbs, Sarah Jones, Cahira McDowell, James Francis, Rylee Houser, Ashley Denizen and Becca Charlesworth.

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