Student written, directed and produced play, ‘Ahhh…Soooo Close’ to debut this weekend

By Michelle Rivas

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A new and original theater production called “Ahhh…Soooo Close!” Is debuting in Temecula this month, and is brought to you by a group of eight talented students aged 8-15 that created the entire play from scratch.

This play was originally written as a project for a theater class offered at On Stage Production Company, which is a local business located in Temecula. Jenn Curtis, co-owner of the On Stage Production company is the teacher of the students who created this play and has watched them take-on this big responsibility,

“For this class, collaboratively, they wrote a play they titled, ‘Ahhh…Soooo Close!’ It took about six weeks to write,” Curtis said. “We discussed conflict, characters with both strengths and flaws, setting, time, tone and resolution. My job as a teacher was to basically ask them questions and let them make all the decisions. Writing the dialogue took the longest amount of time. But, in the end it’s their ideas and their words.

Curtis said the class offered a “unique experience” for students.

“Apparently I am crazy enough to teach it,” she said.

Curtis feels that the students are benefiting from the experience of taking on such a huge responsibility, and that the students are going above and beyond to make sure this play is a success.

“The students are exceeding all of my expectations. They are gaining confidence, learning how to take direction and feedback,” she explained. “They want this play to be good, they are putting in the hard work, and it’s because it’s their play. Any time I have asked for them to help with getting parts to their costumes, and making the costume fit their character the response has been immediate. They are making allowances for the younger cast member who has a hard time memorizing where his lines should be said. All I’ve seen is maturing, unity and cooperation amongst each other. I couldn’t be prouder of this cast.”

The play is a hilarious comedy, Curtis said.

“It is set in medieval London and revolves around the local hat merchant, who is planning to retire,” she said. “However, the King keeps raising taxes making it impossible for him to quit and move to the countryside. So, he develops this plan to bribe his way to become king. Using a set of thieves, to steal from everyone and amass the money needed, the merchant works at becoming king. With the other characters of a crazy cat lady, an executioner, a tax collector and a horse, this play takes you on a laugh out loud ride.”

Curtis said she believes the audience will be impressed by the subject matter, children writing about oppressive taxes.

“They will be laughing so hard at the jokes and humor the children brought to the characters and dialogue,” she said. “They are more creative than me.”

There you have it! The production of “Ahhh…Soooo Close!” will premiere Friday, June 23, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 24, at 11 a.m. at the Oakhill Academy in Temecula on 29275 Satiago Road Tickets are free and this production is open to the public.

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