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El Portal Students Take Stage For Plays
Four one-act plays will be on stage next week at El Portal Middle School, as drama students present 'Moonbeams and Such' under the direction of teacher Shelley Hesse.

"All of them are commentaries about life," Hesse said. "The longest play is Waltz of the Red Moonbeam. Some of them are funny, some are serious, Waltz of the Red Moonbeam explores the tragedy of teen drinking and driving."

The longest of the four plays includes both humor and conflict, Hesse added, and there are two separate casts working on that production, with each cast slated to take the stage for one of the two nights of performances.

"It uses some stronger language between the teens," Hesse explained of the 'Waltz of the Red Moonbeam' production. "It's a way to show them their actions have repercussions.

"It doesn't always show the pretty side of teens."

Fifteen students take the stage for 'Waltz' with the three other shorter plays put on by four students, used in a variety of combinations among the three one-act pieces.

Hesse teaches both seventh and eighth grade English at El Portal in additional to the Performing Arts class.

'Waltz of the Red Moonbeam' is the only play that incorporates music into the production, she added.

"It has a little bit of everything," Hesse said.

Admission is $2 for students and $3 for adults, with the plays presented on stage at El Portal Middle School. Performances dates are Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31.

While performing in the plays is considered an extra curricular activity, Hesse is able to devote some time in the Performing Arts class to rehearsals.

"I only pull kids from my class for the production," she said.