DeSales High School performing arts teacher Lori Arnett has long considered staging the John Patrick comedy "The Curious Savage."
"I've looked at it for a couple of years and I just felt like this year I had the right mix of kids to do it," Arnett said.
The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 and 3 p.m. Oct. 28 at the high school, 4212 Karl Road, Columbus. Tickets cost $10.
According to the website of the Dramatist Play Service, "The Curious Savage" focuses on a widow, Ethel Savage, who inherits $10 million when her husband dies, money her greedy stepchildren eagerly wish to have for themselves.
"Knowing that the widow's wealth is now in negotiable securities, and seeing they cannot get hold of the fortune, the stepchildren commit her to a sanatorium, hoping to 'bring her to her senses,' " the site states. "In the sanatorium, Mrs. Savage meets various social misfits, men and women who just cannot adjust themselves to life, people who need the help Mrs. Savage can provide.
"The dominant mood is high comedy, and the audience is left with a feeling that the neglected virtues of kindness and affection have not been entirely lost in a world that seems at times motivated only by greed and dishonesty."
The lessons of "The Curious Savage" are not only about kindness but also accepting people for who they are, Arnett said.
"It kind of goes along with our (school) theme of 'let your light shine,' " she said.
Although musical productions at DeSales tend to have large casts, Arnett said she tries to make the plays more intimate events.
"This has 11 cast members, which is wonderful to work with," she said.
Set in the era shortly after World War II, Arnett said the costumes and some of the references in the play, whose author is best known for "The Teahouse of the August Moon," has provided educational opportunities for cast members.
"It's kind of a learning curve for them," she said.
Junior Daniel Arciniega, who has the role of Sen. Titus Savage, one of the stepchildren, is appearing in his second play at DeSales.
"Once I got on stage, I fell in love instantly," he said. "Everything about the stage is just amazing to me."
Sophomore Mia Slanoc, on the other hand, is a veteran of performing in plays at the school and has enjoyed rehearsing her part of Lily Belle Savage.
"I think the characters in the play have such diverse personalities," she said. "It's kind of these lonesome people, people who are isolated, coming together and forming a community, and that's a beautiful metaphor for how we should be."