The Kiowa High School drama club has been practicing every Friday since January in preparation for its weekend performances of “Who’s Dying to be a Millionaire?”
The play, written by Pat Cook, is about the reality TV show “Who is Dying to be a Millionaire?” that travels throughout America. When a contestant is murdered on live television and the mayor of the town becomes the next contestant of the show, there is a scramble to figure out who the murderer is before the mayor competes.
Senior Tylar Zielinski began in drama his sophomore year as part of the tech crew.
“That didn’t go as planned, they made me act in the play,” he said. “And now, as a senior, I have the lead role as Denny Perkins the stage manager.”
“My favorite part of drama is the performance,” said Zielinski, a Kiowa resident. “It’s so cool to get to see what the play started out as and what it turns into.”
Caleb Campbell is in his third year participating in the high school drama club.
“I love doing this because of the thrill I get when I’m on stage,” he said. Campbell, a junior from Kiowa, plays one of the principal roles as Reginald Smarmy, the host of “Who’s Dying to be a Millionaire?”
Junior Nate Craley of Elizabeth plays the murdered contestant in addition to some smaller roles.
“I like drama because we are able to adapt to who we have and are able to make quick changes,” he said, referring to the need for improvisation.
Polly Ehlers, a second-grade teacher, and Karen Carnahan, who teaches third and fourth grades, co-directed the 18-member cast in addition to some one-acts being performed ahead of the main play.
“We’ve found over the past 15 years of doing this that it takes two of us,” Ehlers said with a smile.
According to Ehlers, selecting the piece to perform this year wasn’t too much of a challenge.
“They (the students) wanted to do a murder mystery. This was written by a well-known author, and it has a lot of comedy in it,” Ehlers said. “It’s fast-paced.”
There will be a family night performance on March 16 and dinner performances on March 17 and 18. The option of paying for just a show ticket on the dinner nights is available.
The dinner menu is beef brisket, cheesy potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls, a drink and a choice of desserts.
Performances are at the Kiowa Creek Community Fellowship Hall, located near the Elbert County Fairgrounds.