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‘Murder at the Porcelain Ballet,’ a murder mystery written and directed by former SCHS drama student Brian Ivie and featuring several current and former Tritons, continues its debut run Friday and Saturday nights at the school.

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Collin Conway, as Dr. Logan Hollow, points a pistol at Templeton, played by Kevin Ivie, in “Murder at the Porcelain Ballet,” a production of Flashbulb Entertainment, a company made up of current and former San Clemente High School students.
DAVID BRO, FOR THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

SAN CLEMENTE -(CA)- A two-act play written and directed by former San Clemente High School drama student Brian Ivie has him and other Triton alumni back at their alma mater this week for a debut run that continues Friday and Saturday nights.

Ivie, now a film student at USC, wrote “Murder at the Porcelain Ballet,” a comedy-drama murder mystery, in about six months and took only 3½ weeks to cast, rehearse, costume, revise and build a stage for the play, using mostly former and current San Clemente High School students to put on the nearly two-hour show, which opened Thursday. He said he relied heavily on the technical direction of San Clemente High graduate and Cal State Long Beach student Colby Nordberg.

The play is a production of Flashbulb Entertainment, a company Ivie co-founded in 2009 with several other Triton alumni and students. The company has produced five short films and a feature-length motion picture, “Farmer’s Tan.”

Ivie describes “Murder at the Porcelain Ballet” as a mystery in the spirit of “The 39 Steps,” “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Clue.” While it is “deeply comedic and droll, (it) is really about dreams and how they can ‘oxygenate’ us,” Ivie said. “The show carries a vital message and one that I believe to be unique in today’s popular culture.”

Welcoming the audience Thursday night with a quote from Irish poet W.B. Yeats, Ivie encouraged everyone to think about not only their own dreams but also those of others: “I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”

The play, set in a time before television, takes place entirely in a lakeside mansion on a stormy Halloween night soon after a double homicide is reported nearby, with the killer still on the loose.

Friends and family members begin to arrive for a planned costumed get-together, slowly revealing their secrets, hopes and dreams in often comedic exchanges. Amid the suspense of trying to find out about the killings through intermittent and faulty radio reports, the audience learns about Miranda, played by San Clemente High School senior Kayla Stephens, and her hope to marry Westley, played by former Triton Tavis Robertson, while becoming a ballet dancer.

Bert, a young admirer of Westley’s played by A.J. Wolf, restlessly struggles to be accepted by everyone. And Dr. Logan Hollow (played by Collin Conway) and his wife, Mary (Kimberly Wiggle), reveal a sad reality of faded dreams and failing love.

The mansion’s maid, Charlotte, played by Haley Pavlis, sets about the house smoothing over not only the wrinkled and dusty tablecloths but also the interactions among the characters.

Ivie’s brother Kevin, 16, a San Clemente High junior, is in his first stage performance as Templeton, a selfish, arrogant, “good at everything” newspaper stage critic who skewers everyone with endless quips that lay bare each character’s weakness and essential reason for being.

Brian Ivie said he spent $2,000 on the production from an online funding drive and borrowed what he didn’t have. He said he hopes a San Clemente High School alumni production can become an annual event.

“Adults, in general, expect less from young people, and from the beginning, I told everyone I wanted to defy expectation and encouraged everyone to be professional,” Ivie said. “My mandate was to surpass expectation.”

– Staff writer Fred Swegles contributed to this report.

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A San Clemente High School graduate stands for recognition during commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2008, on Wednesday, June 18, 2008. 

 

 

 

If I remember right, “All Hail San Clemente”, is the anthem of San Clemente High School; all my brothers and sisters will have sung it at one time or another.  The only part I remember is the first part and how the cheerleaders sang it, arm in arm, swaying back and forth, with hands raised high in some kind of peace sign, beginning with the index finger.  It has a tune that I would know if I heard it but strangely, like the pledge of allegiance, I couldn’t sing it alone with a knife to my throat.

 

 

 “…The only part I remember is the first part and how the cheerleaders sang it, arm in arm, swaying back and forth, with hands raised high in some kind of peace sign…”

 

 

 

 I shot the graduation for San Clemente High School today for the Orange County Register and the Sun Post News, and on the same field that I graduated on in 1982.  I was expecting more of an odd feeling of Déjà vu but it didn’t come.  At the moment I write this I am waiting for my photos to download so I can process them and get them to the photo desk at the paper and they can get them on the website. 

 

 

 

 

 

A San Clemente High School faculty member announces the next graduate for the class of 2008.

 

“…If it wasn’t for President Nixon and some wayward and awed Rose Bowl stragglers, we would be as alone as any other small Podunk American small town…”

 

 

 

San Clemente is a town. A place and a people that won’t hit you like a great song on the radio after a great day at work or on the way home in the car from the beach; it isn’t like some kind of nationally shared movie moment of  teary emotion, sight and sound.  We don’t make cars or appliances in San Clemente and it’s not a farming community where there is that corn on the cob and  four H ribbon of a solid “I am America” feeling, either.  It is something that plays itself alone to each person that was born here and is often the case, those that were not born here but live her feel it the strongest.  If it wasn’t for President Nixon and some wayward and awed Rose Bowl stragglers, we would be as alone as any other small Podunk American small town.

 

 

 A San Clemente High School, Class of 2008, graduate proudly recieves his diploma on Wednesday, June 18, 2008.

How do you explain it?  The only thing I can say is that it has to be a combination of many things, all put together, in one package that changes, ever so slightly, from one person to another.  I think that this is what it must be for every town and community at this time of year as they release their youth to the streams that will eventually lead to that really big ocean that is the world. 

 

“…I had a good time but I didn’t break through any journalistic barriers or force fields like some kind of Captain Kirk…”

 

We might ask, if like salmon, they will return instinctively to where they were born.  I don’t know and I don’t think it matters.  They are free but then, when they taste again the

waters of their youth, they will know they are home and where they began; it will be up to them whether they stay or not.

 

I shot all the standard shots today and as I took them, I knew I had them.  The group shot, the solo pensive shot…the buddies shot and the girlfriend shot…the head and shoulders, above the rest shot, the hug shot, the confident, the nervous and the “…OMG…What am I gonna do now, shot…”.   I could have left a lot sooner than I did.  I wanted to get the whole story, from start to finish.  I had a good time but I didn’t break through any journalistic barriers or force fields like some kind of Captain Kirk.  “Standard/Standard” as they say.  “Standard/Standard”…at least within the city limits of this town;  it is what it is.  Maybe you have to be from here to know exactly what that means but, I don’t think so.  “All Hail San Clemente…” oh yeah, I just remembered the next line:

 

“…We Pledge Our Loyalty…”

 

 

San Clemente High School, Class of 2008.

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/slide-show-celebration-2072821-time-for-san-clemente-high-grads#slComments

 

 

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