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Student-led theater, two nights only

BC Middle School's Staged Creations to perform 'The Boardinghouse'

If all the world's a stage, then the members of the BC Middle School's Staged Creations troupe are truly masters of their own universe.

This dedicated group has for weeks been preparing to perform The Boardinghouse, a comedic mystery written by Vern Harden. And they've been working hard on every aspect of this production, as director and math teacher Diane Henderson-Suker tells it.

"The intent of Staged Creations is to have it be a student creation," said Henderson-Suker . "They kind of help each other to grow."

A big tenet of every Staged Creations show is that the students should take as much control as possible. At one after-school practice, Henderson-Suker placed herself in the back row, occasionally calling out a direction but mostly observing. Students armed with scripts patrolled the stage and took care of many directorial duties.

The cast and crew are also responsible for running the lights, making the set, designing the costumes and applying makeup. Everyone, from the lead role on down, gets their hands dirty at some point.

"She lets us make the play our play...with her guidance we almost create the play," said Siena Marcelle, an eighth grader who said she plans to come back to the Middle School next year to help out with the next production, like some other students who have graduated.

When the troupe members decided they'd like to do a mystery this year, Henderson-Suker cast a wide net to find something that wasn't too serious, and came up with "Boardinghouse," by Vern Harden, which has definite comedic elements.

That doesn't mean the audience won't have a good time following the mystery though. A cast of unusual boarders runs from a poet who practices dying as an inspiration for his work to a taxidermist who communicates with the spirit world, and they search the house for a treasure supposedly hidden in the basement.

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