SLIDESHOW: Framingham High To Stage The Diviners for Massachusetts Drama Festival

There is a benefit performance of The Diviners Friday night, Feb. 28 at Framingham High at 7. Tickets are still available.

Katie Russo & Jackson Cote in The Diviners. Credit: Susan Scully Petroni
Katie Russo & Jackson Cote in The Diviners. Credit: Susan Scully Petroni
Nine of the last 11 years, the Framingham High School Drama Company has made it to the finals of the Massachusetts Drama Festival.

This year, the Framingham High School Drama Company will perform The Diviners, a 1930's Depression Era play written by Jim Leonard Jr., as its entry in the 2014 Massachusetts Drama Festival.

Framingham High will travel to Tewksbury High School Saturday in the preliminary round of the Massachusetts Drama Festival. Framingham High will take the stage at 9 a.m.

There is a benefit performance of the 40-minute play Friday night, Feb. 28 at 7 at Framingham High. Tickets are $10 and available online at www.showtix4u.com or at the door.

The play centers around Buddy Layman, a boy who suffered brain damage in a drowning incident that killed his mother but has the ability to find water and CC Showers, a former preachers and stranger to the Indiana community where Buddy lives with his father and sister.

There are a dozen students in the cast, but more than 70 students involved in the production said Donna Wresinski, who is directing and producing the entry with Chris Brindley.

The production's stage manager is Kelsey Kilduff.

The cast includes:

  • Buddy Layman - John Llewellyn
  • Jennie Mae Layman - Katie Russo 
  • Ferris Layman - Jacob Meyers 
  • CC Showers - Jackson Cote 
  • Norma Henshaw - Lindsay Reamer 
  • Darlene Henshaw-  Noel Shay
  • Goldie Short - Katerina Kounadis
  • Basil Bennett - Zach Colten 
  • Luella Bennett - Jenny Paulhus 
  • Melvin Wilder - Tristan Burke 
  • Dewey Maples - Scott Jacobs 
  • Ellegy Callie Llewellyn and Grace Graham 
  • Dulcimer Player - Sarah Rosenthal
Wresinski told the student crew  the "costumes are her favorite part of the show" during a rehearsal on Wednesday. She said the costumes take you back to the place and time immediately.

She also told the crew that while there is a cast of a dozen, the production could not happen without the crew.

Students must set up their stage within 5 minutes, perform within 40 minutes and take down the stage within 5 minutes during their performance Saturday. One second over and they are disqualified.

The entire production is students designed and executed, down to the set design, makeup, hair, sound, lights and costumes.

"We are proud of you and excited to walk into Tewksbury with you," she told the cast and crew.

Framingham High School Drama Company won the title of State Champion in 2006 with its production of Tales of Trickery.

The production of The Diviners is for a mature audience. Parents need to consider whether it is appropriate for young children.

Spoiler alert: Winner of the American College Theatre Festival, this theatrical play is the story of a disturbed young man and his friendship with a disenchanted preacher in southern Indiana in the early 1930s.

When the boy was young he almost drowned. This trauma and the loss of his mother in the same accident has left him deathly afraid of water. The preacher, set on breaking away from a long line of Kentucky family preachers, is determined not to do what he does best. He works as a mechanic for the boy's father. The town doesn't have a preacher and the women try to persuade him to preach while he tries to persuade the child to wash. When the preacher finally gets the boy in the river and is washing him, the townspeople mistake the scene for a baptism. They descend on the event and, in the confusion, the boy drowns.


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