‘John Lennon and Me’: South Rowan stages poignantly funny play
By Katie Scarvey
Hospitals aren’t typically settings that feature a great deal of fun, but South Rowan’s latest drama production, “John Lennon and Me” brings a light touch to serious subjects.
The play opened last night at South Rowan High School and continues at 7 p.m. tonight and 7 p.m. Friday.
Written by Cherie Bennett, “John Lennon and Me” is a “dramedy,” says director Sarah Drinkard, which means that it has both serious and comic elements ó kind of like life itself.
Drinkard is known for her preference for serious plays; in this case, she ventured a little outside of her comfort zone, she says.
Sentimental and sweet, “John Lennon and Me” features plenty of silly comedy, Drinkard says.
Adapted from the book “Good-bye, Best Friend,” “John Lennon and Me” is the story of Stella, aka Star, a teenager who is a die-hard John Lennon fan. She has cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that drastically shortens the average lifespan.
Star spends much of her time in Heart House, a hospital for chronically ill children, surrounding herself by bodyguard “flunkies.”
She gets a roommate named Courtney, a pretty cheerleader who doesn’t seem to be very sick. Star doesn’t think she has much in common with Courtney, but the two become best friends.
There’s a first kiss thrown into the mix as well, plus plenty of sarcasm.
Her students have used their talents in different ways on this production, handling pretty much all aspects of the production, with a little guidance from Drinkard.
Although the play has provoked a serious emotional response in her students, they’ve also enjoyed the comedy “and the silliness of it,” Drinkard says.
Ultimately, the play is about enjoying every moment of our life on this planet.
The cast includes Amber Adams, Megan Peters, Alana Thompson, Sherrie Greenman, Robbie Gianfrancesco, Adam Corriher, Tess Shoe, Robert Hunter, Christian Barringer and Taylor Chandler.
Also in the cast are Nick Gibson, Lara Ballard, Sarah Heffner and Erin Basinger.
Erin Basinger is stage manger.
John Jones is sound board operator; Cameron Moore and Kayla Sells operate the light board. Brooke McCoy and Ashley Hood are the running crew.
Laura Ballard and Sara Heffner choreographed the dance sequence.
Donations will be accepted for The Good Shepherd’s Clinic in Salisbury, a free clinic serving the people of Rowan County.