by J.O. Parker
Dianne Singleton of Montezuma is all smiles these days. And there is a good reason.
“The Fallen Star of Coconut Grove,” a murder mystery set in Chicago in the 1930s, which she wrote and co-directed with Liesl Roorda, was well received by the drama students and the community.
“I’m so proud of all the students involved, and the way the community came out to support them was tremendous,” said Singleton.
Singleton wrote the play this past summer after learning the school had nixed plans to hold a fall musical.
Singleton, who has been helping with the high school speech and drama program at Montezuma for the last three years, said when writing the production, “the characters almost jumped off the page.”
“Having the opportunity to work with the playwright, Dianne Singleton, and utilize her insight as she co-directed was a wonderful experience for all as we brought her script to life.,” said Liesl Roorda, co-director of the play. “It's always so inspiring to see students stretch and grow and push themselves in ways they didn't even imagine they could. Our cast was made up of long time veterans of the stage, students with a little experience and a number who were first time actors. Each one of them dug in and found new ways to interact, react and be real in their role. It was a tremendous amount of fun and we learned so much from each other about encouragement, hope and were inspired to do all we could to keep on in an uncertain time to do great things together.
The production was performed by the Montezuma Drama Department on Nov. 7, Nov. 14 and Nov. 15.