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Ward off the bandits

New Times spoke with the star of Seven Supermans, and its director, at Arroyo Grande High

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HOMETOWN HEROES :  Seven Supermans, presented by the Arroyo Grande High School Theatre Ensemble (which includes 43 A.G.H.S. students), is a play written by Rinne Groff and directed by theater teacher Mike Callaghan. Based on the classic Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai, Seven Supermans will be presented March 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and March 29 at 2 p.m. in the Clark Center Studio Theatre, an intimate “black box” performance space at the Clark Center at Arroyo Grande High, 487 Fair Oaks Ave. Seven Supermans tells the story of a group of down- on-their-luck farmers, who year after year have their crops stolen by a group of bumbling bandits.  To save their livelihood, they head to the city to find a group of supermen to protect them from the thieves. Get your tickets early; seating is limited. Jerica Kuster stars. $8-$10. Info, tickets and directions: 489-9444 or clarkcenter.org. - Future productions at the center include: Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Twelfth Night (or What You Will) completely student run and directed, from May 14-17, and a student-written New Play Festival on June 8. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • HOMETOWN HEROES : Seven Supermans, presented by the Arroyo Grande High School Theatre Ensemble (which includes 43 A.G.H.S. students), is a play written by Rinne Groff and directed by theater teacher Mike Callaghan. Based on the classic Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai, Seven Supermans will be presented March 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and March 29 at 2 p.m. in the Clark Center Studio Theatre, an intimate “black box” performance space at the Clark Center at Arroyo Grande High, 487 Fair Oaks Ave. Seven Supermans tells the story of a group of down- on-their-luck farmers, who year after year have their crops stolen by a group of bumbling bandits.  To save their livelihood, they head to the city to find a group of supermen to protect them from the thieves. Get your tickets early; seating is limited. Jerica Kuster stars. $8-$10. Info, tickets and directions: 489-9444 or clarkcenter.org.
    Future productions at the center include: Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Twelfth Night (or What You Will) completely student run and directed, from May 14-17, and a student-written New Play Festival on June 8.

New Times What’s your background, Jerica?
Jerica Kuster, Lead Superman in Seven Supermans I’ve been in theater since my freshman year at Arroyo Grande High [Kuster is now a senior] and I love theater. I’ve done every single play we’ve done.

New Times What else have you done with the Arroyo Grande High School Theatre Ensemble?
Kuster My Name is Lysistrata!, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Zombie Prom, the musical for the year.

New Times
Typically what roles do you gravitate toward?
Kuster I’m generally in the supporting part of the cast. I’m more of a comedic actor, where I pop up in a bit role, and then leave.

New Times
Who are you playing in this production?
Kuster I’m the lead, the head superman, the strongest one, so that’s pretty exciting.

New Times What are your aspirations after high school?
Kuster I’m actually going into the Navy.

New Times Tell me about the show from your perspective.
Kuster Seven Supermans is about a village of farmers who kept getting run over by a band of bandits, and finally the farmers get fed up and Grandma Lady, the oldest farmer, tells the group to find the Supermans and fight. They find the Supermans in the city after a few chaotic things happen. They find out they are the winners in the end. It’s a big sob story, but we are spinning it around a bit and making it into a slapstick comedy. Like Three Stooges.

New Times Does it take place on a farm in A.G.? That would be cool.
Kuster It’s based in the 23rd century in New Hampshire.

New Times And where are you staging Seven Supermans?
Kuster It takes place in this room [where the rehearsals take place] and we build our own stage, depending on the show.

New Times And all of the students are involved in every aspect of the show?
Kuster Yes, everyone helps out. Mr. Houck’s costume’s class helps out with costumes or we will bring in our own costumes and props.

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New Times Who are you, Mike?
Mike Callaghan, director I teach English, journalism, I’m the adviser for the school newspaper, and I teach drama.

New Times Who came up with the idea to bring Seven Supermans to the stage?
Callaghan We asked for input from the students last year. Mr. Houck comes up with a lot of the ideas. This production is fun to do because it is a comedy—it’s silly, yet it has a good message, and there are a lot of good roles for both males and females.

New Times What is Seven Supermans’ “message”?
Callaghan The show is derived from The Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven and the show concentrates on the fact that by the end, everyone has an inner Superman inside of them. Even if the Supermans weren’t there, the farmers would still be able to hold their fate in their own hands.
 
Christy Heron thinks Eminem is the true Superman. Challenge her to a rap off at cheron@newtimesslo.com.

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