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El Dorado goes the right direction with ‘'Theophilus North’'

Who knew that insight into the necessities of life could occur on a bike ride through the superficial city of Newport, Rhode Island? In the creative homage to the life of Thornton Wilder, El Dorado High School's production of "Theophilus North" captured the essence of a character's journey to find meaning and purpose in life.

Set in the Roaring Twenties and accompanied by live saxophone music, the play begins with the main character, Theophilus North (Colby Hamman), yearning to discover his own greatness by traveling to the ancient cities of Europe.

However, this captivating character only makes it as far as Newport, Rhode Island before his car breaks down. Stranded and in need of money, Theophilus enters into various jobs to pass the summer and encounters a variety of vibrant characters that lead him to self-discovery.

El Dorado High School's production was anchored by the strong acting ability of the cast, producing enduring characters and riveting relationships. Hamman's effortless delivery was remarkable for the sheer magnitude of lines he had to deliver. With a consistently poised stature and a cool head, Hamman was the ideal guide as he captured the audience's attention with a confident strut and witty asides.

Strong performances were also delivered from Natalie Leonard as Sarah Bosworth and Gamon Sanchez as Myra Granberry. Natalie Leonard's initially superficial Sarah Bosworth grew into a complex character that was essential in driving the plot, and Gamon Sanchez accurately displayed the contrasting vulnerability and strength of her conflicted character, Myra Granberry. In a play that was based on dialogue, the actors were hard to hear at times, but ultimately delivered their lines with conviction and passion.

Although there were some delays in the set changes, the creativity of set designer, Jerome Lachapelle, highlighted the simple power of the play. The set design played in extremely well with Theophilus's search for self-discovery without stealing attention from the relationships between characters, which serve as the central element of the production. A particularly unique choice was to use actors as inanimate objects such as a lighthouse or Main Street Newport.

El Dorado High School's production of "Theophilus North" correctly embodies the character’s search for self discovery while capturing the quintessential search for identity. "Theophilus North' is truly in the right direction.

Marina Elmore is a senior at Huntington Beach APA in Huntington Beach.

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