One weekend, two student shows

Next weekend puts Rappahannock students in the spotlight, literally, with performances of two plays: the perennial favorite “Anything Goes” at Rappahannock County High School, and “Twigs to Branches,” an original musical written and composed by music teacher Dontez Harris and his Belle Meade School students.

Some of the those behind Belle Meade School’s original musical “Twigs to Branches” — from left, students Ava Landman-Hession and Celeste Breeden Blankenship, teacher Dontez Harris and student Elliott Eaton — pose for a photo this week at the Sperryville school. Courtesy photo.
Some of the those behind Belle Meade School’s original musical “Twigs to Branches” — from left, students Ava Landman-Hession and Celeste Breeden Blankenship, teacher Dontez Harris and student Elliott Eaton — pose for a photo this week at the Sperryville school. Courtesy photo.

“Anything Goes” is a play about a transatlantic comedy cruise set in the 1930s. It features a clerical gangster, a stowaway assistant, a punny debutante, her mother and a boatload of attractive sailors (you’ll recognize some RCHS wrestlers). The opening performance is an evening show at 7 on Saturday, May 4; the second is a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5.

The RCHS drama department is also asking the community to donate props for the performances, including two old cameras, 10 bar-stools, an old stem phone, old luggage, old rope, fake jewelry, an old captain’s naval hat, netting and other items. Contact the school (below) if you can help.

Tickets can be purchased in advance or reserved for $7. Tickets purchased at the door, without a reservation, are $10 (though at last year’s opening performance, people had to be turned away). For more information, and to reserve your ticket(s), call the school at 540-227-0745.

“Twigs to Branches” is a musical loosely based on Holland’s 16th-century tulip bonanza, and follows a day in the life of the family of Mjolnir Oakwood Solar, a forester and single father of three girls. In addition to Harris, who masterminded the musical, the cast is composed of Belle Meade students David Gerrish, Claire Allen, Leif Kvarnes, Elliott Eaton, Ava Landman-Hession, Celeste Breeden Blankenship, Miguel Lorenzo-Day, Kavan Rohrbaugh, Ethan Foley, Aidan McKiernan and home-schooler Elise Wheelock – all of whom helped in writing and composing the songs.

Opening night for “Twigs to Branches” is 7 p.m. next Friday (May 3) at Belle Meade School (535 F.T. Valley Rd., Sperryville); tickets are $10. There is a second showing Saturday night (May 4), which is preceded by a four-course meal with wine designed by Laughing Duck Gardens chef Sylvie Rowand. Tickets for the dinner-theatre performance are $60.

For more information, call the school at 540-987-8970, email school@bellemeadeschool.org or visit bellemeadeschool.org.

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