Students take on drunken driving in ‘Dangerous Curves’
Students will be taking on an important role Saturday in a special performance of the play “Dangerous Curves” at Port Charlotte High School.
The production, which focuses on the dangerous effects of drinking and driving, not only carries an important message but is structured in a way that gives the students a chance to put their own mark on the story.
“It’s not only about the effects of the kid dying but the effects on the kid who was driving the car, and how it affects the whole class,” drama coach Candice Cole said. She noted that the play had been purposely scheduled around the same time of the year as prom, when she felt the message was especially important to get across.
Because of the way the production is done, the message of the play is uniquely customized to the students and the school. The students were provided with a shell of a script, including a general beginning, middle and end, and then were allowed to fill in the blanks and personalize the script themselves.
“The kids got to play with the script a lot, write it in their own words,” Cole said. “They got to add a lot of their own personality to this one.”
The production was created by Aaron Jackson, an actor and acting coach known for his starring role in the 1990s NBC series “California Dreams.” The play was inspired by events in Jackson’s life. He now travels around the country working with high school students to put together the show in just three to five days.
Because Jackson lives in Cape Coral, he has been able to spend a little more time working with the students at PCHS. Still, the five or six rehearsals the students will have had before the play runs is nothing compared with how long they normally prepare for a play or musical. Cole said the students usually rehearse nearly every day for five or six weeks for other productions.
Around 30 students are involved in putting on the production. All 28 students acting in the play have at least one line, though Cole said the show focuses mostly on a core group of friends comprised of a handful of student actors.
The play runs for exactly 45 minutes, Cole said, representing the fact that someone is killed in a drunken driving accident every 45 minutes. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the PCHS auditorium, 18200 Cochran Blvd., Port Charlotte. Tickets to the show are free, though donations are welcome.