HAZARD — The Perry County Central’s drama company The Perry County Commodore Players will perform its production of “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton and adapted to stage by Christopher Sergel. This production was two years in the making for one Senior Student Director.
Senior Student Director Dylan Duncan has been planning the play himself for two years. Since there are a lot of females in The Players, Duncan had to cast females in some of the male roles.
“I’ve started watching it (the movie) and reading it. I then tried to figure out a way that I could adapt it, put it on the stage with all the female cast that we work with,” said Duncan.
This is Duncan’s first time directing a play; he has been with The Players since his sophomore year. This makes his 12th production he has been a part of.
Duncan also serves as The Players’ Technical Director. A role he has served since his sophomore year.
“I fell in love with the drama program. This has been everything to me,” said Duncan of The Players.
Duncan fell in love with “The Outsiders” since he read the book in fourth grade.
“It’s probably the only book I’ve read more than five times,” he laughed.
The original script for the play was 80 pages long that had a run time of two hours, but Duncan was able to cut the play down to 90 minutes with a 10 minute intermission.
Duncan added some special scenes to the play, such as adding Dallas’s death.
“That is one thing the script left out. It didn’t show how Dallas died. It just kind of set it. That wasn’t enough for me,” said Duncan.
Junior Austin Burgett plays Dallas. What Burgett enjoys about playing Dallas is that him and the character are polar opposites.
“He is rowdy, terrifying and intimidating, stuff I’m not,” said Burgett.
Burgett had no problems of getting into the role, despite how opposite him and Dallas are.
“Even though I don’t like Dallas, he is my favorite character. He is the most fun to watch,” he said.
Pony Boy is played by Senior Dylan Stacy. The reason Stacy wanted to play Pony Boy is because of the character journey Pony Boy goes through.
“He learns more about, not only his side of town, but the Socials too. That is something I find a little bit more relatable kind of learning about people in that aspect. It was the most interesting to me,” said Stacy.
Madison Combs plays Johnny Cade. Since the beginning of the auditions, Cade was the one character that Combs wanted to play.
“Johnny is always the underdog, he is the scared one. I just want to protect him after watching the movie. As soon as we did this, I told everyone that I was going for Johnny and that I want to do him justice” said Combs.
Cade’s death is Comb’s first death scene she has performed in a production. She prepares for the scenes by listening to sad music.
“I listen to really said music on repeat before every opening night,” said Combs.
The school has a limited amount of funding they could give to the drama company, so The Players ran the concussion stands during sporting events to fund the set for “The Outsiders.” The Players then built the set. The cast are able to climb over the fence, because the fence was made for sticking into a dirt ground, but The Players were able to adapt the fence to stand upright on the stage floor. Some of the other props The Players use was previous items they have kept in storage after previous productions.
Duncan believes the theme of the play is to be yourself. Other themes of the play include how society tends to put themselves in certain cliques and how those cliques sometimes don’t get along with each other.
“By the end of the play, what I hope everyone catches on is that violence isn’t the answer. Even when the rumble happens, it didn’t solve the death that happened and it didn’t solve anything that had happened. I’m hoping that will be the biggest realization for everyone. Treat people how they should be treated,” said Duncan.
Duncan praised the cast of The Players for making the play happen.
“Most of this probably wouldn’t have happened without them, if they hadn’t cooperated it wouldn’t have worked,” he said.
Opening night of “The Outsiders” by The Players will be March 31 at the PCCHS auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. The play will also be performed on April 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. also. The final performance will be on April 3 at 2 p.m.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-629-3245 or on Twitter @TJHazardHerald.