LOGAN — Logan High School’s theater program will make a big return this spring with a stage production of the classic 1967 S.E. Hinton novel, “The Outsiders.”
“The Outsiders” is a coming-of-age novel that tells the story of conflict between two rival gangs in the 1960s: the working-class “greasers” and the upper-class “Socs.” The story is told in first-person by its main character, teenager Ponyboy Curtis.
The story is often read in schools throughout the nation at around the eighth and ninth grade levels. In 1983, a hit film based on the book featured several notable actors — many of whom were relative unknowns before the film such as C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise.
The show will be directed by LHS teacher Bill France, who directed student productions for the school several years back, including the popular musicals “Grease,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Hairspray.” He said the school’s principal, Kelly Stanley, had approached him about kickstarting performance theater at the school once again, which he agreed.
“I had got it in my head that if I was to do a show at Logan High School, I would want to do ‘The Outsiders,’ ” France said. “I love period pieces, and this takes you back to the late ‘50s, early ‘60s. S.E. Hinton wrote a masterpiece, and because of that, schools and classrooms and students everywhere are still reading this narrative that she wrote about these boys.”
France said the story is great for LHS students because it’s one the students connect with.
“This is something that our kids relate to. They get this,” he said. “They see it in the communities and even in the hallways, so it is timeless, it never grows old, and she (Hinton) just did a good job of laying it out. I mean, it feels like there’s probably four stories going on during the course of the book.”
After being on hiatus for around five years, France said he is glad to restart the theater program at LHS. During auditions, which were held Jan. 23-24, students from different walks of life and interests showed, and France said the show will bring all of them together.
“This will be good for us. This will be something we’re not offering the kids that they need to have,” France said. “I just think that overall, it’s a win-win for everybody. It’s going to be good for school because kids who don’t have a place are suddenly going to have a place. It’s also going to be good in the school because when you do a play, it’s like a ‘super-lesson.’ You’re doing English, speech, communications … all of these things come together, and the whole period piece brings history into it. There’s so many things to be learned, and you can’t get it in just a regular class setting.”
Public performances of the show will be held in the Logan High School Little Theater at 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, April 23-24, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26. In-school shows for students will also be held.