The final act: Theatre performs final production under Morse’s direction
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The curtains rise one last time under the direction of Lance Morse. He has served ten and a half years as the Decatur High School’s theatre director and the next performance, The last days of Judas Iscariot, will be his forty-fifth play, as well as his last.
Over the Christmas break Morse accepted a job offer for MJM Creative. His last day as a teacher at DHS is Friday, Jan. 18. Before he leaves, he wants to direct one last performance with his students.
“I realized over Christmas break that shows are what we do and I didn’t want to just leave,” Morse said. “I wanted us to have one more production together.
The play Morse chose, The last days of Judas Iscariot, is one he has been wanting to do for a long time.
“I think the story is really interesting,” Morse said. “I’m drawn to scripts that make you think from a perception that perhaps you haven’t thought of before.”
The play is about the story of Judas and Jesus. It opens with Judas’ mother doing a monologue about her troubles and what her son is going through and it closes with the final moments we see of Jesus and Judas.
“What I like about it, is it takes the story and really humanizes the few facts we know about Judas,” Morse said.
He decided to do this play when returning from the break, so the cast has two weeks to rehearse.
“It’s grueling and tediously furious,” Morse said about the process. “They signed up and I cast them according to who wanted to be involved.”
Rehearsals are every day after school, a double rehearsal on Saturdays and a single Sunday rehearsal.
“It’s going to be a really pretty show,” Paige Dickinson, junior and theatre technician said. “We are his creations and we will be the last generation of his creations.”
The one time performance is Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7pm in the high school theatre.
“We’ve worked together for a really long time to build this department and it’s reputation for productions and it’s very difficult to know that’s coming to a close,” Morse said. “I love taking my craft and seeing them become compassionate about it; in that way I know my craft will carry on.”