The new black box theater at Marble Falls High School raises the curtain for the first time with the theater department’s production of “Over the River and Through the Woods” on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16-17.
“We’re really excited about this production,” said high school theater director Jon Clark about the two-act comedy.
Tickets are $5 each and can be reserved ahead of time by calling 830-798-3602. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the high school, 2101 Mustang Drive. There’s no Friday night performance because of the Mustangs football game at Liberty Hill.
The term “black box” refers to smaller spaces with all-black interiors. Theater seating is usually movable, which provides directing teams more flexibility and creative opportunities than traditional spaces.
The high school’s black box theater, which was built as part of the Marble Falls Independent School District’s 2018 bond package, can seat roughly 100 people. The theater is located adjacent to the school auditorium.
“The new space offers us a place where our actors are literally three feet away from some of the audience,” Clark said. “There’s no hiding from each other in this kind of space.”
“Over the River and Through the Woods” centers around character Nick Cristano, a New Jersey native who spends his free time visiting his elderly grandparents. When he’s offered a dream job in Seattle, his family members cook up schemes to prevent a cross-country move.
Intermixed with shenanigans and heartfelt moments, the main theme of the play is family, Clark explained.
“(The show) is very poignant because it’s a good reflection of everybody’s family,” he said. “Your family might drive you crazy, but the alternative is not having them.”
The show is especially meaningful to Clark, whose father died earlier this year just three days before the school won silver in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 5A one-act play state contest for its production of “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.”
“I think this show has been cathartic for me,” Clark said. “I wanted to do it because, sometimes, especially as teenagers, we don’t appreciate what we have when we have it. I think this show has magnified that need for family.”