Skidmore Senior Class Play, 1921

Theatrical news from the February 17, 1921 edition of the Skidmore News (Skidmore, Missouri), page 1:

Senior Class Play at Royal Hall, Thursday and Friday, Feb 24 & 25.
The Senior class of the Skidmore High School will present Booth Tarkington’s “Seventeen,” under the direction of Mrs. Rollo Howden, Thursday and Friday nights, February 24 and 25, at the Royal Hall.

The stage has been raised so as to give a good view from all parts of the house, and the cast is practicing faithfully every afternoon and evening.
There are only six girls in the Senior class, but they are doing their best toward making “Seventeen” the very best high school play ever seen in Skidmore. The Seniors have taken all the girl roles in the cast. The boys have been chosen from the high school and the ones best suited to the parts given a place in the cast.

The play “Seventeen” is a sparkling little comedy of youth and summertime; and unlike most plays given by high school students, is not beyond the average amateur ability. It expresses young love, commonly called puppy love, in its seemingly most serious stage. The unfailing humor and realistic plot takes the older people back to their days of youth and no doubt makes them stop to wonder if they would ever have been so silly. Youth receives it with hearty applause, but forgets to apply it to the present — it seems too absurd. The book is by the famous writer of youth, Booth Tarkington, and is considered one of his best novels.

Vernon Goslee takes the part of Willie Baxter, the hopelessly love-sick boy of seventeen, with the ease and expression of a professional actor. Willie considers himself abused by the members of his family, because he must go on errands for his mother, because his sister, Jane, delights in tormenting him, but most of all because his father will not let him have a dress suit. Leona Sewell, as Mrs. Baxter, the patient mother, Frances Medsker as Mr. Baxter, who forgets he was ever young, and Zelma Goslee as Jane, Willie’s ten year old sister, constitute the Baxter family and work so naturally together that you are able to see and know them as one of many such families.

Mildred Barrett in the role of Lola Pratt, the visiting girl, is very charming in her coquettish way, and her baby-talk has caused Willie and the other boys to lose their heads over her. Neva Carden, as May Parcher, wh0m Lola has been visiting all summer, sings several solos; and we all know that just to hear Neva sing is worth the price of admission. . . .

There are five sets of natural humor depicting youth articulate and to this already delightful play have been added catchy musical numbers. Between acts there will be specialties by the high school students, and several orchestra numbers.

Buy your tickets Saturday from the Senior girls at the Monarch.

The Cast of the Play “Seventeen.”
William Sylvanus Baxter — Vernon Goslee.
Jane Baxter, William’s sister — Zelma Goslee.
Mrs. Baxter — Leona Sewell.
Mr. Baxter — Frances Medsker.
Lola Pratt — Mildred Barrett.
May Parcher — Neva Carden.
Mrs. Parcher – Evelyn Goslee.
Mr. Parcher — Junior Skidmore.
Johnnie Watson — Henry McDaniel.
Joe Bullitt — Everett Pierpoint.
George Cooper — Dean Sauceman.
Wallace Banks — Denton Peoples.
Miss Boke — Hilda Caywood.
Adelia, the Baxter’s maid — Evelyn Goslee.
Girls at farewell party — Hope Manchester, Alice Barrett, Iona Devers.

The reviews were promising, as we see in the February 24, 1921 Skidmore News (Skidmore, Missouri), on page 1:

Senior Play Tonight and Tomorrow Night.
Everything Now in Readiness — First Presentation of “Seventeen” Tonight.
“Have you bought your tickets for the Senior Play?” That is the question most commonly asked these days, and the reason is that the tickets are selling so fast.

The Senior girls are taking the leading roles in the play. Mildred Barrett as Lola Pratt, the “baby-talk-girl” from out of town, is charming and will win the hearts of her audience as she does the boys in “Seventeen.” Neva Carden, as May Parcher, Lola’s hostess, sings several catchy songs. Leona Sewell as Mrs. Baxter, Willie’s mother, tries patiently to reason with her love-sick son. She takes this matronly part with ease and grace. Evelyn Goslee as the Baxter’s colored maid in the first and second acts, and as Mrs. Parcher in the last act, portrays both characters naturally. Zelma Goslee as Willie Baxter’s ten-year-old sister plays an important part in the first three acts and gives Willie one more thing about which to worry. It is too bad that Hilda Caywood as Miss Boke does not make her appearance until the last act. She does justice to her role in this short time.

The three extra girls in the last act: Hope Manchester, Alice Barrett, and Iona Devers, add greatly to the happy atmosphere of Lola’s farewell party.

We must not forget to include the boys, for without their strong support the play could not have been what it is. Vernon Goslee as Willie Baxter — well, just see him; that is all we ask, and you will say the rest! Frances Medsker as the stern Mr. Baxter; Junior Skidmore as the profane, yet gracious Mr. Parcher; Harry McDaniel, Everett Pierpoint, and Denton Peoples as three of Willie’s friends; and Dean Sauceman as George Cooper, the brag; all deserve praise for the way they are taking their parts.

By simple cooperation the boys and girls have worked together making their own scenery and doing the many things which are necessary when there is no opera house or permanent stage in a community to use for such purposes. They thank the people who have helped by loaning such furnishings as are necessary, and hope that someday there may be a real opera house in Skidmore in which to work.

Besides the play there will be several musical features. The Hawaiian orchestra, composed of the following musicians: Mrs. Edith Glenn, Mary Ashbrook, Margaret Strickler, Hope Manchester, and Mr. G. C. Ashbrook, will give a few selections before the play and during the intermission.
The six Senior girls will give an original specialty act and the boys quartet of the Skidmore High School will sing several numbers.
Come tonight and see for yourself if “Seventeen” isn’t worth seeing.

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