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A Polyester Performance

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The stage setting for this springs play was an elaborate smashing

The stage setting for this springs play was an elaborate smashing together of props from past years, old timpani drums from the band and crafted scenes spread around the entire front half of the auditorium. Light was used to shift focus from center stage to the edges to the audience when needed, helping viewers stay focused in the constantly moving play.

Buffalo High School's theater department put on their annual spring play, this year's being an original titled "Turns out Polyester was the Root of it All: A Spade Malloy Mystery." The play referenced a previous performance, resurrecting the character of Spade Malloy in this mystery that combined a large number of plots together in one big fabric-themed performance. 

Aiden O’Neill played Paulie the Barber

Buffalo High School junior Aiden O’Neill played Paulie the Barber for this year’s spring theater production of “Turns Out Polyester Was the Root of it All” on Friday. Paulie was a magical barber that served as both a character and an omniscient narrator throughout the performance - freezing scenes so as to talk directly to the audience.

The gangster boss, played by Charlie Wonka, yells at gangster Johnny Boy, played by Dawson Palser

The gangster boss, played by Charlie Wonka, yells at gangster Johnny Boy, played by Dawson Palser, while talking about business expansions on Friday. They gangsters frequented a restaurant for tuna but later in this scene they discovered that the restaurant was out of tuna.

The Fashionistas, aliens sent to convince Earth

The Fashionistas, aliens sent to convince Earth to switch from cotton to Polyester, were dressed in elaborate make-up and hand crafted polyester outfits on Friday. The material was brought back from Missouri from Lana Wing’s mom and turned into outfits by Karen Blaney’s mom. Karen loved the outfits and in a way wrote the play around the clothing.

Essie, played by Payton Redden, yells

Essie, played by Payton Redden, yells toward the audience as the Fashionista aliens come down to interact with the humans for the first time in the production on Friday. Essie first formed an attachment to Spade Malloy, played by John Wonka, but ultimately found that relationship to be impossible and instead found Paulie the Barber.

Spade Malloy, played by senior John Wonka,

Spade Malloy, played by senior John Wonka, talks with Paulie the Barber as the play resumes after its intermission on Friday.

FBI agents played by Colton Bennett, Fischer Kirven and Ethan Barker,

From left, FBI agents Neil, Howard and Lester, played by Colton Bennett, Fischer Kirven and Ethan Barker, huddle together as they realize the potential changes that could come if polyester became a popular fabric. The three FBI agents were somewhat oblivious in the play while their wives secretly worked under cover on the same case.

The news crew for R2 News included actors Eli Barker and more

The news crew for R2 News included actors Eli Barker, as Walter Kronkite, and reporters Ella Sanders, Ryleigh Holmes, Harper Crane and Sarah Clason. The news crew struggled to find exciting news headlines in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico.

Spade Malloy, played by John Wonka, took a trip

Spade Malloy, played by John Wonka, took a trip to the phone booth to call his grandma on Friday. Spade wanted to see if his former employer the gangster boss was looking for him or if he was still at home.

Police officers Ed and Bert, played by Jonathan Conklin and Matthew Schlichting,

Police officers Ed and Bert, played by Jonathan Conklin and Matthew Schlichting, rush undercover spies Helen, Louise and Nancy played by Vivi Ostheimer, Katelyn Sutton and Daphne Lavigne away on Friday. The three wives were looking for more information on the pop-up store but were hurried away from it by the officers.

The gangster boss, played by Charlie Wonka,

The gangster boss, played by Charlie Wonka, took on a temporary disguise as a diner cook to spy on former associate Spade Malloy, played by John Wonka. Many of Charlie’s lines were ad libbed causing other characters to stifle laughs on stage.

Paulie the Barber, played by Aiden O’Neill, consoles Spade Malloy,

Paulie the Barber, played by Aiden O’Neill, consoles Spade Malloy, played by John Wonka, as he struggles to understand why he can’t be with Essie. In the end, Paulie found the answers and found that he was himself meant to be with Essie, not Spade.

Fashionista alien Lycra, played by Evelynne Conklin, struts across the stage

Fashionista alien Lycra, played by Evelynne Conklin, struts across the stage and down into the audience during the fashion show on Friday. A fashion show featuring all polyester outfits was included as a tactic to sell the world on the new fabric.

John Wonka played Spade Malloy an investigator turned gangster

Buffalo High School senior John Wonka played Spade Malloy an investigator turned gangster that was the lead character on Friday. “Turns Out Polyester Was the Root of it All” is a Karen Blaney original, written with the help of the students with inspiration from a previous year’s character: Spade Malloy.

Fashionista alien Essie, played by Payton Redden, peers out

Fashionista alien Essie, played by Payton Redden, peers out from behind her station on the space ship while Acrylic, played by Danica Boyce, talks to the group on Friday. The spaceship was concocted from a variety of materials included timpani drums that the band had to replace and therefore get rid of a few years ago.

Raylene, played by Laurel Rozema, crumples onto the arm

Raylene, played by Laurel Rozema, crumples onto the arm of her husband Roy, played by Brogan Bryam, as they talk about the changing events on Friday. The couple were two of a few residents of Roswell who were included in the performance.

wives and undercover agents Louise, Helen and Nancy, played by Katelyn Sutton, Vivi Ostheimer and Daphne Lavigne

From left, wives and undercover agents Louise, Helen and Nancy, played by Katelyn Sutton, Vivi Ostheimer and Daphne Lavigne plan out their next move on Friday.

Fashionista alien Acrylic, played by Danica Boyce, shouts

Fashionista alien Acrylic, played by Danica Boyce, shouts in exclamation as the group make plans for their taking over of the Earth fashion market. Each of the actresses was layered in blue body suits, corsets, polyester clothes and lots of makeup.

Photojournalist

Jessi Dodge joined the Bulletin as a photojournalist and a Report for America corp member in 2020. If you have ideas or comments, reach out at jessi@buffalobulletin.com.

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