Kolin and the Melodrama

By Natalie Eaton

Bring your popcorn and rootbeer, and be prepared to laugh! Jenks High School’s drama production, Deadwood Dick, is debuting this December with a big story to tell. 

This year, the play will be based in the Old West and will go faster than regular drama productions. Junior Kolin Graham will be playing the main character (Ned Harris/Deadwood Dick) in the western melodrama. 

Graham started drama in 7th-grade with the belief that it was a blow-off class and never fully enjoyed it. As his 8th-grade year arose, he decided to try out drama again after Douglas Ruffner was appointed the new drama teacher. Graham tried out for his performance class, got in, and the rest is history.

“Drama is more fun than other things I have done, and I was not super good, but according to my other classmates, I was pretty good,” says Graham. “I thought, hey I am pretty good at this! If I run with it I can get better.” 

Originally, drama classes and productions were not Graham’s first resort. But after a few plays, Graham finally realized he found his love for performing. 

“I did a couple of plays, and I really enjoyed it, so I kept with drama on into high school. But, I also played rec soccer for nine years and I wanted to try something else, so I tried football,” said Graham. “I tried balancing football and drama, but football kept taking over. And ultimately I was enjoying drama more, so I just went for it.”

With five productions under his belt, including 13 Reasons Why Not to Be in a Play, The Diviners, Million Dollar Baby, Blithe Spirit, and Grapes of Wrath, Graham is excited for what is in store for Deadwood Dick. 

“This is probably my favorite show of the year. I usually like our fall shows because they are our big stories,” says Graham. There are big productions on the big stage with a huge cast, but when it comes to melodrama it’s a lot smaller and it’s a tighter knit group. We see each other every day, and we have all become family.”

Bethany Beyer & Emily Weins
Kolin Graham & Blaise McFadden

Jenks High school drama teacher, Kevin Hurst, comments on Graham’s performance in Deadwood Dick. “Kolin is absolutely wonderful. He is one of the main leads, and he has really come a long way in the last year,” says Hurst. “He is absolutely delightful to work with, and he is doing a great job playing one of the heroes.”

Every time the curtain opens, Graham does what he loves. But outside of high school and into college, he has other things he wants to pursue. 

“I have really enjoyed drama, and I might try to do community theater outside of college,” says Graham. “But I plan on going into anesthesia in the medical field, and drama and medical school would probably clash.” 

Trystan Novak and Aaron Siebert

Graham hopes that when people come to watch the play, they will enjoy all of the ridiculous situations and big reactions ranging from throwing popcorn at the villain, to cheering for the hero. 

“This is a really fun play, all melodramas are,” explains Graham. “There is always the stigma of high school acting, and that it is always cheesy. But, for this play, it is supposed to be cheesy and fun.”

Deadwood Dick will be debuting December 5th and will run through the 7th, upstairs in Mr. Hurst’s room 5-230.

“This comes at a good time, right before the holidays, and it is just a lot of fun,” says Hurst. “Buy a ticket, and it’s more fun than you will see in most theater productions because it’s so comfortable, and you can see your friends and have a good time!”

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