KHS's newest play wants to turn heads
KINGMAN - Kingman High School's newest drama production debuts tonight, and it's a far cry from anything the drama department has done before.
"Two Heads Are Better than One" is one part comedy, one part science fiction, and one part serious commentary on the state of political discourse in today's society.
The play is written and directed by KHS physics and chemistry teacher Tom Jennings.
The play is, admittedly, a departure from last year's production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
It takes place at RoseBud's, a lonely diner in the middle of nowhere that, unbeknownst to husband-and-wife owners Rose and Bud, actually rests along the "Extraterrestrial Highway," and is about to become the venue for a pandimensional debate on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.
According to Jennings' synopsis, the café is about to shutter its doors for lack of business when an unusual pair of visitors arrive for dinner and begin inviting additional guests to join in their debate, including a preacher, a professor, a group of UFO hunters and eventually Adam and Eve, Superman and several members of the Greek Pantheon, among others.
"The basic idea is just the conflict of ideas people have for the origins of man and the earth, and the main thing is that everybody has good ideas, but tends to write off what anybody else thinks as wrong," Jennings said. "They don't listen to each other's ideas. The goal of the play isn't to present one side or the other as right or the winner, but to present each side in a way that if each side would just listen to the other, that there's good ideas on both sides."
Jennings said he wrote the play in the hopes that it could be appreciated on several levels, as both a comedy and as a legitimate commentary on the current divisions that pit people against one another.
"There's quite a bit of action and antics and funny dialogue, so that the story's not too serious," he said. "In fact, most of it is not serious."
As an example, Jennings incorporates a number of references to pop culture, such as Rose and Bud's three children - Vera, Chuck and Dave - taken straight from the Beatles hit "When I'm Sixty-Four," as well as elements from his own background in science.
Jennings said he wrote the play in part to accommodate the growing number of students interested in drama at KHS. Having directed plays at the school since 1989, he said this year's cast is the largest he's ever had.
"The interest is much higher than it used to be. I used to get 20 to 30 trying out, now I get 40 to 50," he said.
The play features a cast of 36 students and runs about two hours long. It will run nightly at 7 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday at KHS's Hilda Aguilar Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $3 for students and $4 for adults, and will be available at the door. For more information, call (928) 692-6480.