‘The Time of Your Life’ Coming Soon


Christian Magallanes/The Skyline View

Steven Dazs (right) receiving feedback for his audtion from director Kevin Simmers (left).

Mark your calendar, because a select few Skyline students will be performing William Saroyan’s “The Time of Your Life” this November. Set in 1930’s San Francisco, the play is about a man named Joe, who is too rich to have to work, and his friends: a female prostitute, a beat cop, and the owner of the waterfront bar they hang out in, Nick. At Nick’s, everyone feels welcome to drift in and out through the course of their daily lives.

The play will be directed by Kevin Simmers, instructor of drama classes 200, 201, and 202. He and his students explained the entire process they will undergo for the next few months. Before Skyline, Simmers had been a dancer for many years. He loves the final rehearsal process when he can take things a little further and pull the best out of himself and the performers. He was also an acting coach for 30 years.

“I like that honing, cleaning, fixing…” Simmers said. “I was an art major in college and professional dancer and actor and all of those of things I can put together. I also like the control.”

Skyline student Erin Perry was involved in last year’s play, “You Can’t Take it With You” by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, expressed interest in auditioning for the new play this semester. Perry describes the audition process as fun and full of anticipation.

“My favorite thing (about acting) is I am a strange person but it’s less strange among actors which is nice,” she said.

Another group of students noted that rehearsals can be stressful, too. As an actor, you have to balance your whole schedule so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Skyline student Josh Doctor says that rehearsal can be broken down into different sections: the relaxing beginning where you are getting used to your own character, then closer to the show’s opening, where things get a little more stressful.

“It is stressful to balance schoolwork, work and the play, but for me prioritizing often goes like: school, work, and then the play,” Skyline student Deo Gammad said. “But as it gets closer and closer to the actual show dates, the play gets more of a priority because it’s the show dates and everyone is working towards this.”

When asked about the difference between acting in college and in acting in high school, the actors said that college is a lot more relaxed. A person can be more comfortable when in college than in high school. It makes it a lot less painful to become another character.

“Just being together in a group, college is less cliquey,” Skyline student Lisa Olson said. “No one cares about that, so it’s easier to build a family.”

Imagine being on stage the night of the play. The audience is waiting quietly for you to appear. Before an actor appears on stage, he might have a lot going inside his mind, maybe thinking about every possible thing that can go wrong in that show. He could be going over all his lines, making sure every word can be said and performed in a way that will successfully captivate the audience.

“Most likely, eighty out of one hundred percent of the time, it will go wrong but once you go on stage all those fears come and melt away, so that’s the nice thing about being in theater,” Skyline student Karla Chan said.

For 15 years, Kevin Simmers had been using scenes and monologues from the play and dreamed of directing it. He describes the “The Time of Your Life” as different than any other play that has been done. An eminence about what is going on in the world and the dangers of the world. A play that celebrates the potential goodness in people being decent to one another. William Saroyan, author of “The Time of Your Life,” won a Pulitzer Prize and a Drama Critic’s Circle award for the play. It was the first time any writer won both of those awards.

“Come and enjoy a wonderful evening of rich dialogue, rich characters, and a little bit of San Francisco waterfront in the late 1930’s,” Simmers said.

If you have a soft spot for complexity and the art of theater, this is the play for you to see this November.