Foothill drama department reprises “Carol Burnett Show” classics

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Foothill drama department reprises “Carol Burnett Show” classics

Katie Sones

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Juniors (from left) Ian McMillan, Emily Schwertfeger, and Martin Hanson perform a skit for the drama department's reprisal of "The Carol Burnette Show." Credit: Katie Sones/The Foothill Dragon Press

Juniors (from left) Ian McMillan, Emily Schwertfeger, and Martin Hanson perform a skit for the drama department’s reprisal of “The Carol Burnette Show.” Credit: Katie Sones/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill’s drama department performed sketches from “The Carol Burnett Show” Friday night in front of a receptive and risible crowd of classmates and parents.

Acting out skits from the show was drama teacher Karen Rodrigues’ idea, and she said she decided to put on the show “Because I know how funny they are. I grew up on them.”

“When I was a kid, my friends and I used to imitate the show and do performances for our families,” said Rodrigues.

Important to her since childhood, doing the show took some convincing for the drama students, but Rodrigues knew the students would “love it when they know it.”

“Nobody knew who she was, so it was kind of a hard sell at first, until they watched the show,” she said.

The students performed over ten original sketches from “The Carol Burnett Show,” including “Hospital Nudge,” “Bonnie & Clod,” and “Rolls Royce.”

Sharon Velzy, whose daughter Megan Velzy was the director and stage manager, said that the students “did a great job” recreating the classic sketches.

The class started working on “The Carol Burnett Show” about two months ago, and all the actors and the entire backstage crew was made up of Drama I and II students at FTHS.

Drama student and FTHS sophomore Mahaila Woods, was the main supporting character in “Night of the Teenage Zombies,” and acted in a few skits in this Friday’s production as well.

Woods said her favorite part of “The Carol Burnett Show” is that “it allows us to get the aspect of performing in front of a live audience, because we’ve never actually done that before.”

Rodrigues said that the sketch comedy style of acting helped the students grow as actors.

“I think that they don’t have to memorize so much so they can spend more time focusing on the actual character and the timing, and timing and character are everything,” said Rodrigues.

Sharon Velzy said “I think it helps them build confidence, speaking ability in front of the public, I think it gives them a lot of learning about teamwork, they learn a lot about teamwork, and it’s important for the kids to have an experience in the arts.”

The production was also a fundraiser for the drama department, who plan to use the money to pay for a class field trip to see “Our Town” at the Rubicon Theatre next month.

“The Carol Burnett Show” is the drama department’s second production of the year, following November’s “Night of the Teenage Zombies.”

As for what’s next for the drama department, Rodrigues said “we’re hoping to make an appearance at the art show in April.”

What do you think?