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Cortez Middle School stages ‘Hoodie’ play

Performances are set for this weekend

After several shows set in fantasy worlds, the Cortez Middle School theater department next weekend will stage a more realistic play – one that takes place in a middle school.

“Hoodie” is a vignettes play with multiple stories strung together about the struggles middle school students face, director Angela Gabardi said.

“It’s the first show we’ve done with characters we see every day,” she said.

Show times are April 14 at 7 p.m. and April 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 2 to 12, M-CHS students and seniors. Tickets are free for kids under 2, CMS students and staff and M-CHS staff.

The play features an ensemble cast with no true main characters, Gabardi said. It deals with issues such as fitting in, body image, friendships and changing voices.

Eighth-grader Jadon Cruzan said he liked the show because everyone gets their own moment in the spotlight, since there are no main characters.

“It’s not like anything we’ve done before,” he said.

Gabardi said many of the early rehearsals for the play involved reading the scenes and talking about them. Cast members discussed the scenes and how they are similar to real life, she said.

“They had a lot to say,” she said.

Seventh-grader Wannassita Neves said “Hoodie” is a new type of play with lots of diversity in its characters.

“It gives people an inside look at middle school,” she said. “It’s not easy.”

Jadon said audiences will come away with the knowledge that middle school isn’t as easy as it seems. Though the show takes on tough topics, he said it’s also a funny play.

Gabardi said people should expect to laugh during the show, but also to be in awe of how expressive the cast can be with the material in the show.

“People will learn more about who these awesome kids are and what they’re going through,” she said.