The Pink Panther Strikes Again - October 28 - October 30, 2021

Urbana High School

 Director's Notes 



Welcome back to the Theater!! It is hard to put into words what it means to me, to all of us, to be on this stage again - performing live theater, and doing what we love.  We were so grateful to be able to safely produce our cinematic experience, Murder in the Knife Room last Spring, but I will admit - something very important was missing:  YOU. Our Audience.  We are so grateful to have you back, and we are grateful that you are supporting our program.


When deciding what show to do for this fall, I knew it had to be a comedy.  We have suffered through so much the past year and a half, that while I have students who are very capable of putting on a dramatic piece, I knew that a comedy was needed.  After all, laughter is the best medicine, right....or so they say.


So with that, I kept coming back to our production of The Pink Panther Strikes Again

from November 2010.  I have always remembered the laughter and the joy shared working on that production.  It truly was a memorable show, and then I realized we had the perfect opportunity to do that show again with the right students to pull it off, and so it was set - we would revisit the Adventures of Inspector Jacques Clouseau.

We hope that for the next two hours you are ready to laugh.  We hope we are able to provide a distraction.  Tonight, you will see Chief Inspector Jacque Clouseau (and a Pink Panther) come to life.  and with him, he brings many crazy over the top characters including 13 dangerous and homicidal assassins, a Russian Agent, a few "looney-birds," a housekeeper with the intent to destroy him, a lunatic Inspector Dreyfus who wants revenge, and many many more.  We hope you enjoy the country hopping, polka and tango dancing, and show stopping performances by our students.


Our world is changing and ever evolving, and I was worried would students want to come back and perform - would they still find the importance of theater in their lives, and yes the answer is a resounding yes! Theater is the lifeblood of so many things.  This past year and a half has taught me (and hopefully many others) the importance of the arts.


Our productions would never happen without the support of the student families.  We thank you for the rides back and forth to rehearsal, the Saturdays spent working on sets and costumes, and the support of your children.  Thank you to the Drama Boosters who help oversee many aspects of the show to make sure everything runs smoothly.  Thank you to the parents who help, even those whose children have graduated.  We are so grateful to have parents like you support UHS Drama.


A word about the set - much of what you will see on stage tonight in terms of sets, flats, and platforms were all being used for our never fully realized 2020 Musical The Little Mermaid.  Be on the look out for a couple of easter eggs, as we pay homage to the musical that never was.


This show is dedicated to my mother, who on Saturday, will be sitting in the audience on her birthday.  Thank you for being my hero, my champion, and my biggest supporter.  You haven't missed a single show I've produced, and your words of encouragement mean the world to me.  Thank you for everything! I love you, and happy birthday!!!! I hope I've made you proud.


And now, sit back and relax, and allow UHS Drama to entertain you - as only you have come to expect from one of our productions.  We hope you laugh as much as we have throughout this entire process.

                                         - Stephen Ward

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