Battle of the in-laws: VHS theater presents “Squabbles”

Mildred (Madison Sparta), Jerry (Gavin Stubbings), and Alice (Kaylie Redding) discuss family matters. RYLIE LOCKERMAN

By RYLIE LOCKERMAN, Vandegrift Voice

Under a bickering household, a quarrel ensues where the beauty and the brawn battle it out through a family feud. But as their passion  slowly unveils, this enemy to lovers’ trope shows the true meaning of love.

The Vandegrift theatre department presents “Squabbles” as their spring show, directed by Jon Alonso and tech directed by Jeff Davis. The cast performed this comedic production that follows the relationship between a family through their “squabble” January 26-28. 

“The cast is very inviting and we are all one big family,” cast member Cristina Orozco said. “It has been fun to interact with them and especially get closer to those I didn’t know before rehearsals.”

In order to encapsulate feelings of love present in the play to stage, cast and crew dedicated approximately two months of consistent, late night rehearsals. The spring production was specifically hand picked by Alonso for reasons close to his heart.

“Some of the characters remind me of family members, so it spoke to me in that way,” Alonso said. “I think the message of this story is that you’re never too old to fall in love and [I] thought that was a positive thing to bring out to the community.”

“Squabbles” is prominently known for its sitcom style performance, however Alonso wants to ensure the audience grasps the deeper meaning behind the humorous dialog.

“I think this show is unique in the way that sometimes shows are driven by the character and who they are and how they act, whereas this one’s very driven by the language,” Alonso said. “I think the things that the characters say are very important and if you don’t pay attention to what they’re saying, then you kind of miss out on the jokes.”

Because the theatre department performed “Squabbles” in 2017, few cast members feel almost nostalgic about the performance. In a way, it’s been passed down from siblings and alumni in the same position a few years back.

“My sister was in this show a few years ago and I really enjoyed watching it,” Orozco said. “It makes me excited to be able to perform in it myself.”

As the thespians prepared for their first play of the year, they delve into their parts with renewed appreciation for the growth their character has helped give them.

“This show really stepped me out of my comfort zone and it has been interesting to learn a different style of acting,” Orozco said. “I am normally younger characters, however in the show I’m 55, which is a big difference that has matured my acting skills.”

During show week, the atmosphere can get hectic so in order to bring the cast together and calm any nerves, they continue old traditions whilst beginning new ones.

“Before each show, we have a show circle that we do with the entire cast,” cast and crew member Anush Gudapuri said.  

When it comes down to the show’s quality and audience experience, Alonso urges viewers to search for the deeper meaning. 

“One of the characters is kind of senile and kind of salty,” Alonzo said. “At the end of the show, you find out that he’s like that for a reason and that he’s really a nice person. That’s what I want the audience to go with. A positive message that it doesn’t matter how old you are and it doesn’t matter the type of person that people are, love conquers everything.”

Rylie Lockerman is a Vandegrift junior and is beyond excited for her first year on the Voice staff. Apart from newspaper, she participates in theater and Student council.