DBHS Drama sets the stage for ‘Suite Surrender’

Students may find themselves “surrendering” to laughter during the upcoming fall play, a farce following two Hollywood celebrities willing to do anything to avoid one another— even while sharing a hotel suite.

The comedy, “Suite Surrender,” focuses on Claudia McFadden and Athena Sinclair, who are booked  for a wartime performance at the lavish Palm Beach Royale Hotel in the 1940s.

The play follows them, the wealthy sponsor of the event, and the hotel employees as they try to keep everything on track for the show despite the stars’ antics in trying to avoid one another.

“I liked it because it was set in the 1940s. I thought that would be a fun thing to costume and to decorate the stage,” Jared Kaitz, the director of the Diamond Bar High School Drama Department, said.

This year, he has worked on collaborating with programs and individuals all over campus, including stagecraft, photography and video production.

“I feel like my favorite part has been being able to work with all aspects of theater, like stagecraft and people from dance, orchestra and band. I feel like working with those people allows us all to be more connected,’ said sophomore Grace Thomas, one of the lead actresses. “And that’s my favorite part, being connected with people outside of drama.”

To choose the play, he took into account what drama department actors have learned and their past productions.

“We haven’t really done a comedy, specifically a farce, in quite a few years actually…Last year we did comedic themes as one of our projects and the students did a really good job,” Kaitz said. “And from there, I went online, I read a ton of scripts, and I picked ‘Suite Surrender,’ which was my favorite.”  

Although the fall play usually draws a smaller audience than the spring musicals, Kaitz said that he hopes that the play will attract both parents and students.

One factor that he hopes will help the production overcome the barrier is the variety of comedy the show includes.

Kaitz made the decision to split the showings into two casts–the Purple Cast and Gold Cast.

“There’s only nine roles in the show, and when we were casting there were so many great people, we were like ‘We can’t just have one cast, there’s too many great students’,” Kaitz said.

Claudia McFadden, one of several lead characters, will be played by sophomore Allison Santogrossi for the Purple Cast and by junior Emily Yang for the Gold Cast.

Junior Katherine Wirth and Thomas will play Athena Sinclair, Wirth as a part of the Gold Cast and Thomas as a part of the Purple Cast.

“I hope the audience will realize how much hard work it really is,” Thomas said. “It’s not easy to put together a show in a few months, because that’s really all the time that we get.”