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#1StudentNWI: Shining a Spotlight on MCHS’s Theatre Department in April


Wolves to Perform Neil Simon Classic: The Female Odd Couple
The wolves are breaking out a game of Trivial Pursuit rather than some poker cards in Neil Simon’s The Female Odd Couple on April 21 and 22 at 7:00 pm and April 23 at 2:00 pm in the Jesse B. Rogers auditorium.

Charles Puetzer, who directs the show, chose to do The Female Odd Couple because of its plethora of female leads. “I picked the female version because I have more girls than I do guys, so I wanted to cater to the girls,” said Puetzer.

The female characters are incredibly similar to the male characters in The Odd Couple, so the productions follow almost the same plotline. The features Olive Madison (sophomore Bailee Laux) and Florence Ungar (junior Lauren Werner), who are roommates with drastically different personalities. The duo invites Sylvie (sophomore Julia Miller), Mickey (senior Kaelie Winebrenner), Renee (junior Emma Vicari), and Vera (sophomore Trinity Clayton) to their apartment for a game of Trivial Pursuit. Throughout the game, the gang deals with Olive and Florence’s noisy neighbors, Manolo and Jesus Costazuela (seniors James Schooley and Christian Toney respectively).

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With The Odd Couple being such a beloved play, television show, and film, Puetzer hopes to make a connection with those who watch MCHS’s production of The Female Odd Couple.

“People should come to see the show to support the arts in general, but they should also come see it because most people will relate to the show. Those in the adult age group will remember when the original show first came out, and, hopefully, people in the younger age groups will embrace the show as well,” said Puetzer.

The cast has certainly embraced their roles and the plotline in general, and they are all ecstatic to show the community the production they have been developing for months. Clayton, who enjoys playing Vera because she is such an “odd duck out” compared to the rest of the characters, hopes to use the show as a way to spread positivity to the public.

“I’m excited to perform for the community because I’m always excited to help others have a good time. All I want to do is be a part of something that makes others happy,” said Clayton.

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Puetzer feels as though the Costazuela brothers have been particularly dedicated to their roles.

“[Christian and James] are picking up the Spanish pretty well with the accent, so I think they are working together very well. This is one of those shows where they need to work together as a group because they spend a lot of time onstage together, and I think that is going very well for us right now,” said Puetzer.

Tickets for the show cost five dollars for students and ten dollars for adults, and they can be considered a personal invitation to Olive and Florence’s Trivial Pursuit party.

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Charles Puetzer: an Advocate for the Arts
Stage manager and math teacher Charles Puetzer fell in love with MCHS’s theatre department when he was in high school, and, today, he lives his dream by guiding young thespians through the wonderful world of theatre.

Puetzer stumbled upon his passion for theatre after an accident on the football field when he was in high school.

“My freshman year of high school I played football I injured both of my knees, so I had to find something else to do. One of my best friends was in theatre and told me I should come out and see what they do. After a little hesitation, I went and loved it. I started working on stage crew, then moved to acting, then to technical directing, and then student directing. By my senior year, I was a student director, technical director, stage manager, head shop foreman, lightning designer, and a sound designer. Theatre was my life in high school,” said Puetzer.

Anyone who has walked into MCHS’s auditorium knows that theatre is still Puetzer’s life today. Thanks to positive role models like John Troyer (Puetzer’s high school stage manager), director Jerry Peters, and Purdue North Central director, Dan Padberg, Puetzer was inspired to dedicate the rest of his life to the theatre.

“I started in the Jesse B. Rogers auditorium, and, even in high school, my dream was to come back and run the theatre,” said Puetzer.

When he was a high school student, his favorite show that he ever did was Godspell.

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“Godspell was the first show I really worked on, and we built a really cool set with a working slide, teeter totter, swing, and picnic table. It was amazing to see everything come together in the end. On a side note, the picnic table was just taken apart last year. It was nice to see it 28 years later,” said Puetzer.

When Puetzer took on the task of directing MCHS’s shows two years ago, he decided to do a show that he previously worked on during his time at PNC: The Diary of Anne Frank. Today, that is his favorite show that he has directed to date.

“As a director, I would have to say that The Diary of Anne Frank is my favorite show. The cast blended just wonderfully, and the set pulled it all together. It was the second time I had done the show, and it was better than the first time. The show is, all together, incredibly impactful. Plus, we did the show for the senior citizens in the community, and, with most of them living through the time of the Holocaust, hearing their feelings and thoughts of the show even made it better,” said Puetzer.

The senior citizen shows have become a tradition since Puetzer took over the theatre. These shows give students the opportunity to connect with members of the community with whom they would not normally interact.

Puetzer also teaches several math classes at MCHS, and his goals for his math classes are very similar to his goals for his theatre students.

“As an educator, we always want all of our students to succeed. I always want to make sure that I have given every student every opportunity to succeed, be they in the theater or in the classroom,” stated Puetzer.

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