Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Are you looking to keep your audience on the edge of their seats? The high school mystery, Ashland Falls by Steven Stack is an intense theatrical experience that is easy to stage and comes with a twist ending that will make them question everything they’ve witnessed…
A school receives a mysterious script about a girl who died long ago. The director disappears. A new director arrives just in time and knows all about the story of the play. In fact, she seems to know it too well. And how did she get the dead girl’s ring?
Are the students of Herbert Hoover High too wrapped up in miscues, awful accents, and stolen boyfriends to notice? Revenge is coming. Who will pay the price when the real world and the play collide?
Each actor must play two vastly different roles in this spine-tingling comedy thriller.
Why did we publish this play?
I love mystery/horror plays. When I say “horror,” I’m not talking about slasher films. Horror can be creepy and mysterious and that’s why I love Ashland Falls.
With the play-within-a-play structure you have first a modern day high school cast and then their character counterparts. This presents a fantastic character showcase for your students. It’s easy to stage and has all the spine-tingling effects needed in a creepy theatrical experience. Plus, there’s humour to throw everyone off the scent. You’ll keep the audience on the edge of their seats with Ashland Falls.
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
One of my favorite plays in the world is Noises Off. I’ve acted in it two times (with the third coming up in two years), and I always wanted to write a play-within-a-play. I also knew I wanted to mix teen issues, horror, comedy, and a British ghost story. Once I knew what elements I wanted, I played in the creative sandbox until an idea appeared.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
For the first act: The rehearsal process is a melodrama within itself. Second act: There’s no limit to what some will do for family.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
When Ashley Donovan appears at the end of the first act behind Carrie, who cannot see her.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
To take the time for all actors to develop both of their characters’ backstories by creating character bios, discussions, improv, and any other ways that allow that actor to create to distinct three-dimensional characters.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
This play is great for student performers because you get to play two fun and challenging characters, with one requiring you to develop a British accent. On top of that, it’s set in the world of high school acting and allows the actor to play a variety of genres including drama, comedy, and horror.
Not right for your group right now? Search our play catalogue to find one that your performers will love!
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