Characters in a play to be staged by the Beechcroft High School Drama Department learn the hard way that you have to follow the rules.

The rules of horror movies, that is.

"Horror Movie 101: Falling Can be Deadly," written by Steven Stack, will be performed at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 in the auditorium at the school, 6100 Beechcroft Road.

Tickets cost $5 for adults, $3 for students.

It will be the first production of Stack's play at Beechcroft, drama teacher James B. Hagerman said.

"This one's new," he said before a rehearsal last week. "We're always looking for newer pieces that haven't been done a lot."

Hagerman, in his 32nd year at the school, said the fall play at Beechcroft is usually either scary or funny.

"This combines both of those," he said.

The premise of the play is that the young people of mythical St. Claire don't know enough not to break the rules of horror movies.

"If the lights go out, you don't go in the basement," Hagerman said. "These are movies that kids have seen through the years."

"Horror Movie 101" is a collection of five short plays that offer "haunting, horrifying, harrowing and humorous scenes that will keep you laughing as you keep your eyes covered," Hagerman wrote in announcing the performance.

The student actors appearing in the play are learning lessons about working together to find solutions to problems, just like they do in the classroom, Hagerman said.

"Overall, our objective is to prepare the students for life, only in this case, it's preparing them not to lose their lives," he said.

Among the cast is Spanish teacher Rachelle Salyers, making her third appearance in a Beechcroft production.

"It was an amazing experience to work with the kids," Salyers said.

She said she gets to meet students who aren't in her Spanish class and is able to interact with them on a different level.

"We're actors together," Salyers said. "We're on the same level. I get to see the kids doing what they want to do at school, not what they have to do."

"It's been fun," said senior Aliyah Brown, who is acting in her first play at Beechcroft. "My mother always said I should be an actor, plus I wanted to try something new."

Sophomore Ousmane Casset is a new student at Beechcroft who also is in a play for the first time, but he said he doubts it will be the last.

"I've loved acting since I was 2," he said.

"I want to be a celebrated actor in the future."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1