McNary drama ‘reaching for more’

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes From going to space to The Addams Family to a twist on Shakespeare, the McNary drama department is “reaching for more” in its 30th season inside the Ken Collins Theater. The first show, Defying Gravity, Nov. 2-5, centers around the 1986 Challenger explosion and focuses primarily on the teacher, who lost her life, and her daughter. “It’s 20 years later and the daughter is reminiscing about her mother and how absent she was in that year she was getting ready,” said Dallas Myers, McNary drama director. “Now as an adult, she’s wrestling with it and the times she didn’t have her mom, all the time that her mom was literally reaching for more. The daughter essentially sounds like and feels like she’s talking to a therapist, like the audience is her therapist.” Also in the play are a NASA mechanic, a bartender, an Oregon couple driving across the country to see the launch and the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, who has his own artistic quest. Myers believes the play will be good for his students who weren’t alive when the Challenger exploded. “I love this play,” Myers said. “I think there’s some really touching moments in it. I remember what it was like. Everybody waiting for the teacher and then how tragic it was.” On Friday, Nov. 18, Myers is inviting all...

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