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1993 -94 North Star Players were a wild bunch for the wilderness. Included here are row 1:   Josh Morton, Kara Rhodes, Megan Assaturian, Becky Williams, Sarah Ash, Athena Dalton,Claudia Leyva row 2: Mr. Orr, Scott Costa, Kim Truitt, Kim Linger, Sabrina Silas, Lester Banner, row 3: Mike Almond, Kevin Metcalf, Jared Hayden, Spencer Orr, Julie Meadows,

Julie Meadows

North Star Players, President

Lawrence Orr
North Star Players 

The Star Players would begin the year with a production of Ah! Wilderness by Eugene O'Neill, in November, taking a cutting of scenes from it for the CSUB Spotlight Festival later in February. Also in February, we added a third show to our season with our first production of You, the Jury, a courtroom drama turned farce. Lastly, we produced Little Shop of Horrors, capitalizing on another year of super-talented stage performers. 

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1993 -94 opened with the prodiction of Ah Wilderness! by the great American dramatist Eugene O'Neill, his only comedy, set in 1906.  Veterans Jim Beard, Spencer Orr, Kara Rhodes, Sarah Ash, Julie Meadows, were joined by newcomers Scott Costa, Mike Almond, Leslie Kerby, Kevin Metcalf, and Paul Myers.

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Richard (Spencer Orr) speaks with Wint (Mike Almond) the hell raiser.

Essie Miller (Sarah Ash) and Nat Miller (Jim Beard) share a look.

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Lily (Leslie Kirby) Sid (Scott), and Essie (Sarah) in their car riding gear.

Muriel (Julie Meadows) and Richard (Spencer Orr) at the moonlit pier.

Arthur (Kevin Metcalf) and Sid (Scott Costa) in a pose.

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McComber (Paul Myers) and Nat (Jim Beard) argue about their kids, Richard and Muriel.

Sid (Scott) and Lily (Leslie) react.

Salesman (Jared Hayden) sits with Belle (Natalie Richards) in a low dive of a tavern.

Nat (Jim) and McComber (Paul) still at it.

Richard (Spencer) and Muriel (Julie) in love under the moon.

Click the arrow below to enjoy slideshow moments from the play.

The Star Players onstage at the Amphitheater

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Jim Beard and Spencer Orr rehearse the Four Feet Away stage combat skit.

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Jim had performed the skit at the once-famous Melodrama of Oildale and introduced it to North High by teaching the skilled stage combat techniques to Spencer. 

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At left is a portion of the hand-written script Jim created from memory to pass on to future performers.

The Star Players sought to perform in the amphitheater on future occasions. The lack of proper lighting prohibits viable night time performances, and during the day, it's always very hot or cold. Such is the Bakersfield experience.

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Aerial view of the once "open" campus, circa 1968, showing the amphitheater (middle right) and newly constructed Star Drama Center, known today as O'Neill Hall.

Jared Hayden was always at the ready to pour water on the over-heated actors.

You, the Jury!

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By this time, the Star Players were strong enough to begin a tradition of putting up three productions a year. You, the Jury was the first offering in this tradtition. Once an original courtroom drama by James Reach, the Star Players realized Jury as parody and commedia dell'arte (apologies to Mr. Reach).

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Take a courtroom drama, make the characters whacky stereotypes, add comedic physicality, and you have, as math teacher Mrs. Thompson would say during a play preview, "a major hit on your hands!"

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The Dead Guy (Jared Hayden) beneath the gun of Barbara (Julie Meadows) as the murder was reenacted, yet again. 

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Jimmy (Jeff Looker), looking suave after his testimony.

Mr. Carver (Scott Costa) and Mr. Woodward (Jim Beard) aggressively approach the bench; Judge Findlay (Kevin Metcalf) looks on.

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Professor Rennie (Mike Almond) pontificates for the jury.

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Edith (Claudia Leyva) reacts as Barbara (Julie) is restrained by Mrs. Lake (Kelly Loyd).

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Dead man walking, and upstaging the Professor.

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Woodward (Jim) is distracted by witness Sheila's (Athena Dalton) beautifully gloved hand.

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Gwendolyn Kelton (Melanie Robinson) works the crowd at her entrance through the house.

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Bailiff (Josh Morton) shall not resist the power of Edith's (Claudia) magnetic personality.

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Alan (Jim) delivers his final argument, and song lyrics.

Woodward (Jim) hands ballistics expert McPherson (Spencer Orr) the fifteen page report, "...that's a big thing!"

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Backstage with the Jury cast...

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Cast members for You the Jury warming up their characters for the performance. The front four include Julie Meadows, Jim Beard, Spencer Orr, Mike Almond. Background pictures Megan Assaturian, crew member.

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Jim visits the girls dressing room to lend a hand with make up, or not.

Right, Athena's character requirements are endless...

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Barbara (Julie) says, "I dare Alan Woodward to come in here to mess with MY makeup!"

A last look at 1994's winter play, You, the Jury. 

Mr. Hagerty (Paul Myers) , Stenographer (Maggie Landers), Rennie (Mike), Janice (Audriana Orr), Edith (Claudia), and Gwendolyn (Melani) distract themselves during recess.

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Click the arrow below to enjoy slideshow moments from the play, video footage pending.

Little Shop of Horrors

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From the front page of the local newspaper, this picture captures some rehearsing, and mugging, as actors are directed by Mrs. Ann Orr who is helping Mike Almond comprehend his role as the human-eating Plant in Little Shop of Horrors. Jim Beard is egged on by Jared hayden.

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Our Little Shop of Horrors made the front page as the nation-wide trucker's strike stalled delivery of the Audrey II plant props.  Just in time, a theater group in Escondido came through with replacement props, and our best driver, Mrs. Orr, drove the nearly two hundred miles south of town to fetch them. The show must go on!

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While rehearsals were marked by excitement and anxiety about the plant props, actors Heather Gaines, Kara Rhodes, and Audriana Orr begin learning the basic choreography for their roles as the trio of Crystal, Chiffon, and Ronette.

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Addie Turner (Audrey), Scott Costa (Mushnik), and Brad Reed (Seymour) in early rehearsals.

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Josh Morton: From Bailiff (You, the Jury) to Wino! They say you gotta hit rockbottom first...

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The excellent chorus of Street People consisted of (from top) Kara Rhodes, Audriana Orr, Heather Gaines
(from lower left) Leah Tidwell, Josh Hupp, Jenelle Andersen, Larissa Leavens, Jennifer Smith, Julie Meadows, Melani Robinson, Heather Bailey, David Snipes, Ruth Bowen, Becky Williams, CJ Szczech

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Athena, Josh, and Julie in the green room.

Click the arrow below to enjoy moments from before and during the play.

Star Players Club and Seniors

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1993-94 Star Players Club members were involved in most club day activities on campus. Here we see Mike Almond (white shirt long sleeves) looking on with Mr. Orr (white shirt short sleeves) who is double-taking on the fine improv scene antics, we're sure! 

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'93-'94 Star Players Club members near the staff lounge include Jim, Mike, Spencer, Kara, and Maggie.

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Spencer Orr could only react as choosy pal Jeff Looker refuses to dance with yet another girl.

1993-94 Star Players Club members at the NHS Formal 

Seniors Moving on...
We will miss these excellent and dedicated actors who have contributed so fully to the Star Players tradition.

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Bradley Reed
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Heather Gaines
Josh Morton
Melani Robuinson
Leslie Kerby
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Kevin Metcalf
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Shannon Visage
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Scott Costa
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Jeff Looker
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Mike Almond
Jenny Kaff
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Kymi Atkin
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Losing Jim Beard this year is like cutting off an arm. Jim was a driving force these years and his contributions to the theater program will live long in our memory. Voted NSP Best Actor 1993 and 1994, Jim has become a professional actor, director, and playwright, and today has some production up and running.

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Jim Beard
Star Players Best Actor 1993, 1994 and Best Senior 1994
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