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The Outsiders, St. Paul VI Catholic High School, Fairfax, Virginia, November 23, 2019

Tess Wadson

Justice High School


Whether you are a Greaser, a Soc, or somewhere in between, you are bound to enjoy St. Paul VI Catholic High School's rendition of "The Outsiders." There is no divide when it comes to the eclectic performance of this cast!


Based on the brilliant novel by S.E. Hinton, "The Outsiders" follows the story of Ponyboy, a bright teenager stuck in a rough part of town, and his gang the Greasers as they rival the pretentious Socials (or Socs). The novel was adapted into a film in 1983 and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Continuing its road to success, the book was then turned into a stage play in 1990, written by Christopher Sergel. Ponyboy and his Greasers fight against the brutal Socs, doing anything it takes to become victorious and take claim over their part of town.


Guiding us through and narrating this production was Ponyboy, played by Jak Ketron. Ketron's ease of storytelling and ability to switch between audience recognition was remarkable. The relationships between Ponyboy and his brothers, Darry (Ryan Jahn) and Sodapop (Rixon Webb) were incredibly moving. Their family dynamic was more than touching, especially in their "reunion" scene. The three worked together to create a believable and heart-warming bond. Webb especially displayed some intricate and carefully curated background motions.


Another astounding performance was that of Johnny, played by Martin Umali. Umali commanded attention in a subtle and rewarding manner. His relationships with each Greaser were different and brilliantly executed, varying from careful to brotherly. Umali was able to convey each emotion with such clear incentive and thought, stunning audiences especially with his powerful presence.


One of the most notable performances of the night was that of the tech crew. Both the stagehands (Gaby Flores, Sabrina Smith, Grace Williams) and lighting designers (headed by Jon Greene) excelled in their fields, pulling off impeccable transitions that helped the continuity of the story. Each shift was meticulously thought out and executed astonishingly. The tone of the lighting was a perfect representation and match to each scene, providing even more clarity and emotion for audiences.


Other commendable performances include Two-Bit (Adam Hill), Cherry (Faith Hargadon), and Marcia (Karina Morey). Hill exemplified the quirky and tough nature of his character throughout the story, fidgeting and flexing the entirety of the show. His snappy remarks and quick punchlines made him a delight to see on stage. Both Hargadon and Morey were intense and passionate in their performances.


St. Paul VI Catholic High School provided a poignant and stirring recreation of The Outsiders, reminding audiences that even when times are tough, always "stay gold."

Jordan Hundley

Chantilly High School


Rival gangs have been a prevalent throughout theatre history: the Montagues and the Capulets in Romeo and Juliet, the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story, and now, the Greasers and the Socs in The Outsiders. But why this repetition in theme? Is it to epitomize the clash between two incompatible forces? Or is it to manifest that in the end, they're not much different? St. Paul VI Catholic High School's moving production of The Outsiders explored this very question.


Based on the classic 1967 novel by S.E. Hinton, Christopher Sergel's 1990 play adaption of The Outsiders illustrates the violent feud between two rival gangs that are divided by socioeconomic status: the blue-collar "Greasers" and the upper-class "Socs."


With passionate performances, convincing physicality, and solid technical elements, the entire cast and crew of St. Paul VI Catholic High School's The Outsiders effectively brought the iconic chronicle to life. Leading and narrating the show was young Ponyboy Curtis, played by Jak Ketron, who maintained amazing characterization with his boy-like innocence and amiability. Similarly, his best friend Johnny, played by Martin Umali, utilized consistent mannerisms and traits to represent his shy and timid nature. Together, Ketron and Umali portrayed the teenagers' shifts from perceived hoodlums to humble heroes with ease, demonstrating their unmistakable acting talent.


Alongside Johnny and Ponyboy was bad-boy Dallas, played by Davis Trax, who portrayed the maverick remarkably in a realistic manner, never crossing the line into a humorous rebel, which greatly benefited the performance and represented his control as an actor. Contrasting his bold temperament was the gentle, yet independent, persona of Cherry, played by Faith Hargadon, who served as a set reminder that not all Socs are immoral.


Adding a bit of humor to the dark and dreary show was the Greaser, Two-Bit, and the Soc, Marcia, played by Adam Hill and Karina Morey respectively. Their witty deliveries, amusing physicality, and humorous interactions lit up the stage and were a delight to watch, especially when paired with one another.


Adding to the impressive performances were the well-executed technical aspects. The lighting, implemented by Jon Greene, Lucian Kapushoc, John Kiechlin, and Kristine Tran, was perhaps the most imposing technical effect. It utilized different color schemes to portray various times of day, locations, and tones, with a prime example being the beautiful golden sunrise at the church. Additionally, the hair and makeup, done by Allison Fentress, Faith Hargadon, Jessica Herrity, and Meghan Hermes, along with the costumes, by Mary Hitchcock, Caitlin Hollen, Olivia O'Connell, and Grace Wright, clearly established the 1960s time period with the slicked-back hair and denim or leather jackets. Moreover, makeup did a fantastic job of creating Johnny's burn wounds, utilizing bright reds and visible blood to underscore the shock factor. Finally, the stage crew, led by Gaby Flores, Sabrina Smith, and Grace Williams, accomplished swift and clean scene transitions, never upstaging the actors despite carrying out transitions mid-scene.


With splendid performances and strong technical aspects, St. Paul VI Catholic High School's poignant production of The Outsiders clearly answered the question by disclosing that even despite divergences, everyone watches the same sunset.


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