The Yellow Boat goes to State!
In spring of 2022, we performed The Yellow Boat at DHS.
It was magical and full of surprises!
In December of 2022, we entered our production for consideration to be performed at the Oregon State Thespian Conference in Salem.
We had the great fortune to be selected for Main Stage Production!
On April 14 and 15 of 2023, we performed The Yellow Boat in front of over 1,500 high school thespians and their teachers!
Photo left features Amelia Woolsey, Brandon Williams, and Jodi Brown in the Ensemble; Pollox Geissinger as Father; Kala Geissinger as Benjamin; Savannah King as Mother; and Elliot Grass as Joy.
So many things about this production were special beyond measure.
For starters, way back in May of 2022, right before the show opened, 4 company members became ill. Because of this, they were unable to participate in the performance weekend. That was a devastating blow for those students and a real challenge for the students remaining.
Our Tech Director, Yvette Geissinger, covered for the microphone manger who was out with illness. The rest of the acting company mightily covered for each other, seamlessly supporting the project and each other.
And this was the performance we submitted for consideration.
There were 18 productions entered from all over the state of Oregon.
And ours was the performance selected!
Our, show, featuring understudies and the steadfast committment to The Show Must Go On!
Photo of the 2022 company of The Yellow Boat at DHS celebrating Benjamin Saar's 43rd birthday!
Below is a video taken at the Regional Acting Competition of our students finding out The Yellow Boat would be performing at State!
Then we had to remount!
We closed Cinderella and immediately dove back into The Yellow Boat.
We had asked for special permission to include the company members who fell ill before we opened the original DHS production and we were able to bring back all actors that wanted to stay with the project!
We were able to put the show back together at a break neck pace, mostly because the students involved were so incredibly prepared. There were some casting changes, new company members added, and moments of storytelling were finessed.
In a matter of 4 weeks, we remounted the project and planned for the toughest part:
Moving the full production to the Elsinore and getting performance ready in 3 hours!
Loading The Yellow Boat into the Elsinore in Salem, OR. Additional photos of DHS at State are included!
Then, the unthinkable happened.
The actor playing Benjamin, the lead, the only actor who never leaves the stage, got sick and wouldn't be able to rejoin us until the April 15 performance.
But, being the Little Show That Could, we got through it.
The understudy, an ensemble member, was able to have 2 full rehearsals of prep and had already been rehearsing their lines and tracking Benjamin's role.
And an understudy had to go on for his role now too, since he wasn't able to cover his regular track. It was entirely a group effort and one we were amazed by, but, in all honesty, not surprised by.
This team has shown time and time again they can roll with the punches and weather any storm, supporting each other and the story. every. single. time.
Then, on Friday, in front of over 1,000 people, he performed the role.
He was supported every step of the way by the company.
DHS Theatre supporters were able to come see this show at the Elsinore and cheer on the MAJOR accomplishments of our team.
It was absolute magic in the theatre that night!
Brandon Williams, as Benjamin in The Yellow Boat at the Friday performance at State, dances through the ceiling stars. He is surrounded by the Ensemble.
The next day, the original actor was able to rejoin us and, without a rehearsal, the full company performed all together for the last time.
What makes this so amazing is the first time they were able to perform all together for the first time was only the week before.
We are so grateful-- gosh, that doesn't even cover how incredible the feeling of sharing this story with this company was.
Kala Geissinger, as Benjamin in The Yellow Boat on the Saturday performance at State, featured in the same moment in the play as Brandon Williams, featured above.
Thank you for supporting this magical play, these marvelous students, and this miraculous story of one amazing little boy.