‘The Dining Room’ explores family relationships

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  • Annie Robertson and Zach Ade rehearse a scene together last week at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center for the Whitefish High School production of “The Dining Room.” (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

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    Teigen Tremper and Makkie Haller rehearse a scene together last week at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

  • Annie Robertson and Zach Ade rehearse a scene together last week at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center for the Whitefish High School production of “The Dining Room.” (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 1

    Teigen Tremper and Makkie Haller rehearse a scene together last week at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

Whitefish High School drama will take to the Whitefish Performing Arts Center stage Feb. 23-25 for its presentation of “The Dining Room” by A.R. Gurney.

Set in a single dining room, around which generations revolve and family values change, the play explores the deepest bonds connecting ourselves and others.

Both universal and precise, Gurney’s play portrays the focal point for any well-to-do household, where meals are shared and birthdays celebrated, teenagers get their first taste of rebellion, and one generation imparts life lessons to the next. With an often intimate view of such connections, “The Dining Room” creates an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species — the upper middle-class WASP — while illuminating the vital joy, sadness, and difficulty of all family relationships.

“The Dining Room” features a revolving cast of students playing multiple parts, with a careful balance of humor and emotion. Whitefish High’s actors tackle these shifts with aplomb.

Zach Ade smoothly transitioning from precocious little boy to stern grandfather. Makkie Haller goes from rebellious teenager to acquiescent maid, and Brody LaRoque goes form unfaithful husband to disillusioned son.

The play opens with two adult siblings, played by Ella Greenberg and Eric Holdhusen, squabbling over an inheritance and quickly builds pace into a separate vignette in which a Real Estate agent, played by Teigen Tremper, pitches the dining room to an interested home buyer, Ethan Mercer. The scenes briefly overlap, cueing audiences to contemplate the fragility of ownership as the play delves into a deeper exploration of family values. Additional roles are played by Talha Idiz and Annie Robertson.

“The Dining Room” is directed by head WHS drama coach Kelliann Blackburn, assistant coach Zach Duval, and student director Sydney Archibald. Concessions will be provided by the WHS Culinary Arts Competition Teams for a suggested donation of $1 apiece.

Tickets are available at the door and are $5 for students and $8 for adults. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. each night.

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