Playing school for the summer

Old Opera House's youth presents "Up the Down Staircase"

Old Opera House's youth presents "Up the Down Staircase"

July 21, 2009|By KEIRA CALE / Pulse correspondent

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Although she's a high school senior, Katee Hayslip, 17, of Inwood, W.Va., is taking on a role of a teacher in the Old Opera House production of "Up the Down Staircase."

"Up the Down Staircase" is one of two youth productions staged by the Old Opera House (see story above). The show will be staged Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"Up the Down Staircase" is directed by Christine Brewer. The story is about a first-time teacher, Sylvia Barret (played by Katee). The new teacher expects her children to be the most perfect of students, but they turn out to be loud, obnoxious children.

Through the course of the show she thinks that it would be best to change schools. She realizes how she has touched lives through teaching at this particular place.


Katee, 17, is taking her fourth year of theater at Musselman High school. She has to be at every rehearsal because with playing the lead role in a production, practice is mandatory.

Being the lead means memorizing a lot of lines.

"At first, it is hard for me but as soon as I start getting into character and acting with everyone else, I learn them pretty quickly," she says.

As far as practice goes, Katee practices every weekday for about an hour and a half.

As a child, Katee attended summer camps. She said her neighbors were very influential in her interest in acting.

So when she found out that there were additions for a part in a production such as this, she had to try out and now she plays the major part in the play.

If you go ...

What: "Up the Down Staircase"

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 24, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 26

Where: Old Opera House, 204 N. George St., Charles Town, W.Va.

Cost: $12 for adults, $8 for students

Contact: For tickets, call the Old Opera House at 304-725-4420.

More: For more information, go to www.oldopera

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