S.E. Hinton’s ‘The Outsiders’ Comes to the West Stage

Jonathon Hoch '16, Staff Writer

The Cherry Hill West Theater Department once again is ready to stun the crowd with yet another film adapted stage production. After the success of “Mary Poppins” last spring, the theater department has high hopes for “The Outsiders”, which will only be the beginning of all the success that they will garner this year in the time leading up to the spring musical. The cast members in “The Outsiders” given the similarity in their ages and their respective characters will have somewhat of a more understanding mindset when it comes to being that character on stage.

“The Outsiders” follows Ponyboy Curtis, a fourteen-year-old greaser living life in the fast lane with his two older brothers Sodapop and Darry and their friends Dallas “Dally” Winston, Johnny Cade, Steve Randle, and Keith “Two-Bit” Mathews who as Greasers are always trying to find ways to get things for free, sneak into the drive in, prove a point through a rumble, and who are constantly being thrown into the midst of a conflict between the Greasers and the uptown well-to-do “Socs,” predicated on a struggle for pride. The adventure takes place Tulsa, Oklahoma in the year 1965, roughly a few years after the beginning of Greaser/Soc conflict. The events of The Outsiders begin when Ponyboy is jumped while leaving a movie theater by a group of “Socs,” the gang that rivals  his Greasers and who are normal opponents for the rumble, before being rescued by his brothers Darry and Sodapop and the rest of the gang.

The production will take place on the West stage in the New Auditorium in early December before the new year, as the fall show has traditionally been done. The stage has served as the home to every theatrical production West has had to offer for the last decade. Every recent show has been a hit with the public and everyone that attends. In addition to this, a wide variety of actors and actresses who have starred in previous stage productions will also be returning to play lead roles in “The Outsiders.” Some of the past productions to grace the stage have been “Oliver Twist”, “Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”, “Grease”,  “In The Heights” which was considered the greatest musical production that West has even put on, and “Mary Poppins.”

When I ventured out to interview some of the cast members to hear their thoughts on the show, I was met with generally positive answers. I met with senior Dylan Coverdale, a veteran actor who has a great deal of experience with the fall shows in the past, saying that “Originally, I wanted to play Dally Winston, his personality seemed super cool and tough and very interesting and that he seemed very hard and hurt at the same time give the experiences he goes through. But in the end, I was picked to play Two-Bit Matthews, who I am excited to play because he’s funny, sensitive, and caring all at once.”