Freehold Regional students will present fall plays

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The stages are set and the lights are beginning to dim at the Freehold Regional High
School District’s six schools as the fall drama productions get underway.

Howell High School, 405 Squankum-Yellowbrook Road, Howell, presents “Summer Brave,” a play by William Inge. “Summer Brave” is a revision of Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1953 play “Picnic.” Set in Independence, Kansas, in the early 1950s, it focuses on Hal Carter, an attractive young stranger who drifts into town just before the annual Labor Day celebration and sets off a chain of events that prompts various residents to reflect on the present and contemplate an unpromising future. Performances are Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Freehold Township High School, 281 Elton-Adelphia Road, Freehold Township, presents “Rumors.” At a large, tastefully appointed townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce. Gathering for their 10th wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken, and wife, Chris, must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. Performances are Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.

Freehold High School, 2 Robertsville Road, Freehold Borough, presents “Clue: On Stage (High School Edition).” It’s a dark and stormy night and you have been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Each guest has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well … dead. So whodunnit? Join the iconic oddballs known as Scarlet, Plum, White, Green, Peacock and Mustard as they race to find the murderer in Boddy Manor before the body count stacks up. Performances are Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 when purchased online at www.fhsdac.booktix.com and $12 general admission at the door.

Marlboro High School, 95 N. Main St. (Route 79), Marlboro, presents “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a humorous and fantastical backstory for the beloved character of Peter Pan and his arch-nemesis Captain Hook. We meet a poor orphaned child on the high seas simply called Boy because, in the absence of a mother and a father, he was never given a name. His sad and lonely world is turned upside down when he meets Molly.

The daughter of famous Starcatcher Lord Astor, our heroine is on a mission to save the world and protect a treasure trunk filled with magical star stuff from getting into the hands of evil and greedy pirate Black Stache. As they travel aboard the Neverland ship headed for a faraway land, Molly and Boy learn about love, friendship and forge an unbreakable bond. Performances are Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

Colts Neck High School, 59 Five Points Road, Colts Neck, presents “Almost, Maine.” Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend, almost, in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. “Almost, Maine” is a play by John Cariani, comprising nine short plays that explore love and loss. Performances are Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Manalapan High School, 20 Church Lane, Manalapan, presents “Arsenic and Old Lace,” a farcical black comedy revolving around the Brewster family, descended from the Mayflower, but now composed of insane homicidal maniacs. The hero, Mortimer Brewster, is a drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, N.Y., as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves.

His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old
men by poisoning them with a glass of homemade elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and “just a pinch” of cyanide; a brother who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home; and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein, to conceal his identity, and now looks like horror film actor Boris Karloff.

Performances are Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Presale tickets are $5 for students and children, and $7 for adults, purchase at https://manalapan.booktix.com/. Tickets at the door will be $7 for students and children, and $10 for adults.