Holiday plays planned in Eastpointe

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 23, 2015

 Danny Waider, playing the lead role of George Bailey, rehearses alongside Stella Woitulewicz, playing Bailey’s secretary, Matilda. Woitulewicz is a former member of the Eastpointe Players, while Waider is an Eastside Teen Outreach graduate.

Danny Waider, playing the lead role of George Bailey, rehearses alongside Stella Woitulewicz, playing Bailey’s secretary, Matilda. Woitulewicz is a former member of the Eastpointe Players, while Waider is an Eastside Teen Outreach graduate.

Photo provided by Deena Trocino

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EASTPOINTE — Local teenagers will bring in the holiday season in December with themed plays at Eastside Teen Outreach and East Detroit High School.


The outreach organization has a rendition of “It’s a Wonderful Life” set for 7 p.m. Dec. 5. According to Eastside Teen Outreach co-founder Deena Trocino, the play will not only feature local teens, but also former members of the defunct Eastpointe Players community theater group.


“A lot of those seniors are now mentoring teens,” Trocino said. “We have this huge cast, but it’s all different ages, from senior citizens to teens.”


The play is an adaptation of the 1946 film starring James Stewart, wherein an angel visits a man named George Bailey while Bailey contemplates suicide. The angel shows Bailey what life would be like if he had never been born, in turn demonstrating the impact that Bailey has had on his community.


Dan Hogan, a member of the old Eastpointe Players, said he paid for the rights to the show and thought it would be a good program for everyone to do due to the short time frame available to get ready.


“We wanted to do a little something (for the holidays), but time was running a little short,” Hogan said. “So what can (the actors) do? They can read a script.”


Rather than everyone dressed as residents of Bedford Falls, Hogan said the play is being done as an old-time radio show. Cast members will be dressed like they are part of a radio set around the late 1940s, and they will be reading their lines off a script.


Trocino said that as the play is being performed “radio show style,” the production staff will produce all sound effects like an old radio program.


“They’re doing their own sound effects,” she said. “Nothing computerized — they actually built things to make noise, like a wind machine and something to make the sound of (a) train (on) tracks.”


Hogan said tickets are available at Eastside Teen Outreach — located at 15800 E. 10 Mile Road — and Clovers Collision, located at 17285 Stephens Road, east of Gratiot; tickets cost $5 in advance or $7 at the door of Eastside Teen Outreach.


East Detroit High School drama teacher Catherine Harr said the school is planning a small “holiday showcase” in mid-December, but she had few firm details at press time. She said the school’s original plan for its fall play had to be scrapped.


“We had a show, but we had to cancel it because of some issues.” Harr said. “We had to redesign our entire show, so we’re a little behind.”


Roseville High School had a program in early November, “The Princess Plays.” A representative of the school could not be reached by press time.

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