After a nearly two- year hiatus of live performances, the talented crop of Samohi thespians took to the stage celebrating the return of theater in all its uproarious glory.

This year, the theater department put on not one, not two, but three stellar performances showcasing the top tier singers, dancers, actors, comedians and musicians at Samohi. For seniors, many of whom hadn’t stepped foot on stage since their early underclassmen days, this academic year was a touching theatrical reunion and a rewarding opportunity to bring their passion for performance back to the public. 

“These Samohi students have come out of distance learning like champions,” said High School Director Kate Barraza. “It’s exciting to watch them prepare to perform before a live audience for the first time in almost two years.”

The theater department kicked off its seasons of shows with the staging of hilarious and fast-paced whodunit comedy “Clue: On Stage!” in the fall semester. The play, which is based on the popular board game and 1985 movie “Clue”, was written by Sandy Rustin and had its world premiere in 2017. 

The show has quickly become a favorite for high school productions, thanks to its eccentric characters, melodramatic moments and slapstick comedy. Nevertheless, it is a challenging play to pull off as students have to remember a litany of possible murder scenarios every night. 

“In addition to its popularity and familiar characters, ‘Clue’ offers specific learning opportunities for theater students in regard to the timing of the comedy and the building of suspense and urgency,” said Barraza. 

In the spring semester, the department staged an even more elaborate performance: “Legally Blonde the Musical”. This show featured a large cast, many complex sets and numerous dance numbers with complicated and athletically demanding choreography. Once again, the Samohi thespians rose to the challenge and executed the energetic and sassy musical comedy to a standing ovation every night over two weekends in March.

“This talented cast of characters has dedicated their time, energy and talent to portray the story of ‘Legally Blonde’ [the movie] and have done so with gusto and grace. It has truly been an honor to direct them,” said Barraza. “We would not be able to tell this story in this way without our dedicated technical theater students who have worked tirelessly to make this production a success.”

Last but not least, the department rounded out the year with its 2022 Public Domain talent show. This year there were so many students eager to perform that two separate lineups were created that each had three performances in May. This exciting and dynamic show featured dramatic and comedic scenes, musical theatre, dance, and many fabulous musical numbers.