New Teacher, Cutting-Edge Performance

HS will perform ‘Metamorphosis’ tonight at 8pm and Nov. 10, 11
and 12
Gilroy – All-black costumes. The audience seated on the stage. An actor transforming into a bug, kind of.

That’s what locals were treated to Thursday at the debut of Gilroy High School’s performance of Metamorphosis.

The play, based on an adaptation of Prague native Franz Kafka’s book, is a commentary on capitalism, said Ethan Stocks, GHS drama and English teacher.

“I almost liken it to the American dream,” he said.

The eight-actor play follows Gregor, played by GHS senior Corey Marshall, after he transforms into a bug. In the play, Gregor, works hard to support his family.

When he wakes up one day and discovers he turned into an insect during the night, it’s not the new look that’s worrisome. Instead, the protagonist is concerned that he’s going to be late to work, Stocks said.

“In this case he’s literally being trapped by the family’s expectations, “Stocks said.

The sparsely-set stage and the head-to-toe attire illustrate the character’s station in life. The big cage sitting on the stage represents the place where Gregor sleeps.

But the audience won’t witness a man-bug crawling across the stage. The transformation is demonstrated by Marshall’s actions, not by a bulky costume.

When Stocks began his tenure at GHS two years ago, the Gilroy native took over a “pretty much nonexistent” drama department.

The high school had “played musical chairs with drama teachers,” he said.

Under Stocks, students have performed as many plays as they had under his predecessor directed during a four-year period.

Stocks, who graduated from GHS in 1999, knew a little about more about his new job than the average brand-new teacher.

“I think that I had a distinct advantage in that I was from Gilroy and I knew what the expectation was,” he said.

The University of California, Los Angeles, graduate managed to revive the longtime Gilroy tradition of a senior play, which had fallen by the wayside. Last spring he put together a decent-sized group of actors for Annie Get Your Gun – though he would have liked to have a better turn-out. Stocks said he’s confident that more seniors will sign on for this year’s performance.

Stocks said he thinks last school year’s performance of Grimm’s Fairy Tales put the GHS drama program “back on the map.”

Stocks’ metamorphosis of GHS’ program seems to be working. About 25 students showed up to audition for the eight slots in Metamorphosis.

Performances will be tonight and Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 8pm. Tickets are $5 a person and will not be sold in advance. Because the audience will be seated on the stage, seating will be limited to 100. The GHS theater box office will open at 7:30pm.

For more information contact Stocks at [email protected] or 847-2424.

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