‘Anatomy of Gray’: North High drama students prepare for play sharing similarities to pandemic

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – When North High School`s drama students take the stage October 7, the audience might notice some parallels between the play’s storyline and real life.

The drama program’s performance of “Anatomy of Gray” is a story about the search for answers amongst a mysterious illness impacting a small town. This, hitting close to home for some students, as life continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some student actors explain how the pandemic impacted their performance for this years school play.

“It does hit really hard, there’s scenes where like, you know your people are getting sick and you’re thinking about, you know, the past year when we’ve not been able to do anything and this, coming out of this play, when last year we did a play, we were in masks and everything. And now, this is our first year we can do this without them,” said Maddie Longstaff, a student actor.

“It also has a lot of personal ties to me because I’ve had multiple family members pass away from COVID, so it, it hits deep that this show has so many ties to what is going on right now,” said Nathan Stokes, a student actor.

North High School Drama Director Tim Hess explained how “Anatomy of Gray” was chosen.

“We want to make sure that every student that graduates has a shot at being in a really strong, powerful show. And this show has been on our list for several years. It just never quite rose up to the top, and we wanted to do it last year, but our rehearsal restrictions prevented us from doing it. We still got a show that has strong echoes of what we’re all going through today, set in an older time,” said Hess.

With correlations between the play and the world.

“I really want my kids to have an opportunity to perform a strong, well-written, award-winning show. And this is a very powerful piece, and it evokes emotion. We have to be careful when we’re working with young actors, when we put that burden on them,” said Hess.

“For me, it allows me to express myself, it allows me to put a lot of my energy into something. Just last week, I had a grandfather pass away. And, doing these shows has definitely helped me get back into that rhythm, and life,” said Stokes.

The play will be performed from October 7-9 at the North High School Auditorium.

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