The Lake Park High School cast and crew of "Close Ties" will perform Friday, Jan. 12, in the three-day Illinois High School Theatre Festival, which strives to showcase student performances from throughout the state.
Lake Park shares the honor with 10 other high schools also selected to perform a full-length production at the annual festival at Illinois State University.
Illinois High School Theater FestivalLake Park is among 11 high schools selected to perform a full-length production during the three-day Illinois High School Theater Festival running through Saturday, Jan. 13, at Illinois State University. Here's a look at the schools and their productions.
• Antioch High School: "The Crucible"
• Belvidere High School: "Leaving Iowa"
• Harrisburg High School: "Seussical the Musical TYA"
• Lake Park High School: "Close Ties"
• Maine South High School: "Noises Off"
• Niles West High School: "White Guy on the Bus"
• Normal West High School: "The Laramie Project"
• Rockford Lutheran School: "Magic: A Fantastic Comedy"
• Wauconda High School: "All Shook Up"
• West Chicago High School: "We Will Rock You" school edition
• Huntley High School: "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)"
The Lancer cast and crew were selected following a rigorous application process that involved three theater educators observing and critiquing the performances in November at the East Campus Dice Auditorium.
Sometimes painful, sometimes humorous, "Close Ties" portrays the complexity of relationships faced every day.
"This show is very challenging for high school actors," Director Kathy Weber said. "It requires the cast to draw from their own life experiences to be sure they are giving authentic performances."
When grandmother Josephine, played by senior Holli Chandler, starts to show signs of senility, her daughter Bess (freshman Lily Grosch) and son-in-law Watt (senior Scott Willy) are forced to make some tough decisions about her welfare.
They each experience conflict with their children -- Anna, junior Ashley Kuril; Evelyn, sophomore Nina Dolan; Connie, senior Amanda Brommel; and Thayer, sophomore Matt Steiner.
Evelyn's boyfriend, Ira (junior Athens Boyle), arrives for the weekend and gains the knowledge that although the family may face disagreements, they continue to have close ties.
Now in its 43rd consecutive year, the Illinois High School Theatre Festival is the largest and oldest noncompetitive high school theater festival in the world. More than 4,500 students, teachers, university representatives, exhibitors and volunteers will come together through Saturday, Jan. 13, to host theatrical workshops and various high school productions.
The festival offers more than 150 workshops on topics including acting, musical theater, auditions, improvisation, technical theater, directing, stage management, make-up and costumes, and lighting and special effects.