Garden City High School drama to present the play 'Kodachrome' this weekend

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Earl the gravedigger, played by Bryant Detvongsa, left, talks with the ghost of Suzanne the photographer, portrayed by Katrina Almaguer, at her gravesite as he eats lunch Tuesday during a rehearsal scene from Garden City High School's production of "Kodachrome". Performances begin Friday in the school's auditorium.

Audience members will watch every day people's stories through a photographer's lens in the Garden City High School presentation of "Kodachrome".

The play will premiere at 7 p.m. on Friday, with an another performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the GCHS auditorium. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children.

Alice Hilt, GCHS Drama/Theatre teacher and director of "Kodachrome", said the play is narrated by Suzanne, the town photographer, who is kind of a tour guide through a small, fictional New England town, introducing the audience to all of the interesting people who live there. 

"Basically we learn a bit about all of these different couples, some just starting relationships, some are ending relationships and others we find out unfortunately have lost a loved one," she said. "Throughout the course of the the show it's about learning how to say goodbye and what it is to be a person. It's kind of a modern take on 'Our Town' by Thronton Wilder."

A young woman, played by Hayley Loya, right, falls to the ground from the weight of books and the stress and weight of getting married as her finance, played by Santiago Rueda, looks on Tuesday during a GCHS drama rehearsal for "Kodachrome".

Hilt hopes the audience finds "Kodachrome" to be a bit wistful and allow people to think back on their own lives and the good, the bad and the terrible moments and how they all blend together. 

"I would also say, hopefully they come away moved by ordinary people's stories, because the ordinary is extraordinary," she said. 

Hilt said her favorite scenes in the play are monologues. 

One is done by the photographer talking about the hardships she as with her husband in their marriage but how she wouldn't give up any of that for anything. 

Another is given by a police officer on the topic of garden gnomes, questioning why people would want to have one in their gardens.

Katrina Almaguer plays Suzanne, the photographer, who she describes as strong, independent and very emotional at times. 

"She's the embodiment of everybody else I feel like," she said. ":It's all from her perspective, it's her lens, her view, her art and she likes to focus on that because I think it's one of the only things keeping her alive in a sense, but almost not, it's also not keeping her alive at the same time. It's keeping her from moving on."

Marjory, played by Yuliana Godinez, talks with her mother on the phone and learns that her parents are getting a divorce in a rehearsal scene Tuesday from GCHS' production of "Kodachrome" in the school's auditorium.

Byrant Detvongsa plays Earl, the gravedigger, who he describes as an "odd fellow,"  who has had the ability to see things like ghosts since an early age, which has effected him throughout his life. 

"He's a very awkward person, he doesn't really know how to talk to people," he said. "Sometimes he just talks about random things just to avoid the dead end of a conversation."

Detvongsa loves everything about Earl because his awkwardness reminds him of himself – a little bit awkward.

Georgia Fahrmeier plays Renee, the librarian. 

Her character is in love with the owner of the hardware store, Charlie, who she dated in high school for a time but then they broke up, Fahrmeier said. Renee is a bit insecure, but does eventually go for what she wants – Charlie. 

The mystery novelist, played by Felicity Miller, right, and the history professor, portrayed by Jose Fernandez-Esquivel discuss getting a divorce in a rehearsal scene Tuesday in GCHS's production of "Kodachrome".

Fahrmeier said what she likes about the play is how it shows the different types of love people can have, young love with the insecurities that come with that, loves that perseveres through difficult times and transforms, unrequited love and a rekindling love. 

"I think everyone would be able to kind of connect to each little part of that in whatever love situation they've been in," she said. 

People should take away that they should do whatever makes them happy, Fahrmeier said, people need to take chances. 

"You can't get anywhere if you don't try, which I think the photographer says in the last scene ... you can't be unhappy with your life if you don't do anything, that's what she said." she said. "It just really inspires you to just do stuff, don't just sit there and be sorry for yourself, go out there and make the best that you can."

Detvongsa said what he likes about the play is how it basically tells people to live life as best as you can. 

"In this story, it teaches you how to move on and watch other people be happy while being happy yourself in a way," he said.

Almaguer thinks the storyline is beautiful in that it doesn't sugarcoat life but it doesn't make you feel bad even though parts of it are sad. 

"It might make you feel sad sometimes, but it will make you feel joy and all of these emotions, maybe anger, but nothing that makes you feel like you regret hearing the storyline or watching it or reflecting on the worst moments of your life, nothing like that," she said.

She hope the play just makes people feel. 

Tickets can be purchased at gchsdrama.booktix.com/index.php, through cast and crew members, or at the box office on the night of the performance.

The Theatre Department is currently looking for season sponsors, which can begin as low as $25 and up to $500. Sponsors, which can be individuals and businesses, receive discounted season sponsor passes, four tickets per pass, advertising/recognition in play programs and preshow and a tax deduction. 

Contact Alice Hilt at ahilt@gckschools.com for more information, or ask a current GCHS Drama student about sponsorships.