CONESTOGA – Conestoga students are aiming to present an All-Star play this fall by portraying many of the All-Star characters in literature.

The Cougars are showcasing “Desdemona in the Afterlife” for their one-act play production. Written by veteran teacher and playwright Nelly E. Cuellar-Garcia, the play borrows from some of the most famous scripts in history. Characters from “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “Hamlet,” “Othello” and Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” are featured in the performance.

Conestoga Play Production Director Jessica Schlichtemeier said six veterans will be critical to the show’s success this fall. Seniors Bella Hogue, Kelsi Weilage, Ellie Sachs, Jocelyn Deterding and Cassidy Hartig and junior Lily Drannen all have major speaking roles.

Hogue portrays the title character of Desdemona and Weilage fills the role of Lady Macbeth. Sachs is Emilia from the play “Othello,” Deterding portrays the famous character of Juliet and Drannen is Ophelia from “Hamlet.” Hartig portrays a messenger angel who has delivered Desdemona to Purgatory.

“We have some great leads this fall,” Schlichtemeier said. “They’ve been with the program for several years and know what’s expected of them. They’ve been great for us.”

The play is set on the shores of Purgatory in the afterlife. Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, Emilia, Juliet and Ophelia discuss the consequences of their decisions to fall in love with others. They also talk about a person’s purpose in life and how their choices impact those around them.

Eight CHS students are part of a Chorus who wander Purgatory in the play. Juniors Jasmine Rainey, Chaeli Doss and Alyssa Knight, sophomores Addi Andersen and Hannah Lewien and freshmen Delaney Deterding, Ella Lewis and Jenna Erny are members of the group.

Seniors Keely Gabehart, Dillon Leffler, Owen Snipes, Halley Shade and Carey Colvert are veteran members of the stage crew. Juniors Bridget Wagner and Jozlynne Kozak, sophomore Bella Basino-Frans and freshman Jayden Speed are CHS stage crew workers. Junior high students John McConnell, Ella Shade, Richard Colvert and Andy Lamoureux are also assisting with stage crew duties.

The Cougars will kick off the competitive season with a public performance on Friday, Nov. 8. Conestoga will host the performance in the CHS commons. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for a dinner theatre and the show will begin at 7 p.m. Admission fees will help support the CHS play production program.

Conestoga will perform in the ECNC Invite at the Lofte Theatre at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19. The group will compete at Lincoln High on Nov. 26 before heading to the District B-1 Meet on Dec. 3.

Conestoga will compete against Falls City, Auburn, Nebraska City, Lincoln Christian, Ashland-Greenwood, Platteview and Omaha Gross at districts. The contest will take place at Midland University.

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