Bath school pops open 'Carbo-Nation' for 1-act play

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BATH — Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in one case it could also be a carbonated beverage.

“Carbo-Nation,” Morse High School’s latest Regional One-Act Play Competition offering, was written by senior Nathanial Barter, who starred in last year’s play, “Str8-2-Vid3o.”

“It’s one part ‘1984,’ one part ‘Hunger Games,’ and one part Dr. Seuss,” said Kevin O’Leary, an English and drama teacher at Morse with 12 one-act productions under his belt.

The story takes place in Soda Springs, U.S.A., a police state where carbonated beverages are outlawed, for reasons depicted in a propaganda video shown prior to the live performance, O’Leary explained.

Haddie, the story’s protagonist, is played by senior Savannah Rice. The character is “caught in this power struggle triangle of two altruistic men and a woman who, when they were young, and passionate and hopeful, worked in a lab to create a concoction that they could put in carbonated beverages,” to save the world from a variety of maladies, O’Leary said.

But with absolute power corrupting absolutely, and a love triangle developing between the three adults, the situation turns sour.

“Haddie is the result of the love triangle, and it’s her journey to find her family, and eventually and ultimately, to literally break out of Soda Springs … to try to create life anew,” O’Leary said.

Haddie thinks Agent C, who provided the funding for the concoction and now heads a police state like the one in George Orwell’s “Big Brother,” is her father. But it turns out she’s actually the product of an affair between her mother, Juventas, and the third member of the triangle, Hesham, in whose lab the concoction was conceived.

And now Agent C, who had been in a relationship with Juventas in their youth, is bent on revenge.

O’Leary compared Juventas, played by junior Tori Murphy, to “a female Che Guevara,” a guerrilla fighting the police state who is torn by what she did, why she did it, and her failure to be a mother to Haddie.

“While fighting the police state, she’s losing her family,” O’Leary said. “And that’s true for all three of them.”

Agent C is played by junior Paden Stanton, while Hesham, who O’Leary called “a beatnik, exiled genius,” is played by freshman Griffin Tibbetts.

With sound effects, videos, and sets moving on and off the stage, “it’s the most complex technical show we’ve ever done,” O’Leary said. “… (It’s) scary, because at any moment, anything can go horribly wrong. So we’re really taking a risk this year on the technical aspect.”

But that’s part of the frantic fun of the one-acts. The play will premiere at Morse during Fine Arts Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5. Admission is free. It bows again two days later, March 7, at Windham High School at 8 p.m., at the regional One-Act Competition.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Freshman Griffin Tibbitts, left, and senior Emilee Love are part of the cast of  “Carbo-Nation,” Morse High School’s latest Regional One-Act Play Competition offering.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.