Groton on the Inside: “Meet the Creeps” of Groton Junior High…and their director!

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When Groton High School alumna, Kayla Lyon ’08, moved to Groton during the sixth grade, she certainly had no way of knowing that she would become the director of her new school’s junior high school plays a decade later!


After her graduation from GHS, Lyon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre in 2012 from Nazareth College. Returning home, she initially held management positions at two separate local retail establishments, before moving into retail banking about five years ago at Tompkins Trust Company, where she currently holds a customer service representative position.


As Lyon had been active in every musical during her high school years, Annette Twitchell, who has directed GHS’ musicals since 2006, eagerly approached her to take on the position of assistant director as soon as she realized that Lyon was back in town.


When the senior high school takes the stage this coming March with “Annie”, it will mark Lyon’s sixth production as assistant director, but Tuesday, Nov. 27 will be her fourth as director of the junior high drama, as “Meet the Creeps” makes its debut in the high school auditorium.


Throughout her middle and high school years, her involvements were many and varied: Student Council, National Honor Society, drama club, band, chorus, cheerleading, volleyball, and the Tri-M Society – a club for girls that focuses on science. Given her bent toward the arts, I asked Lyon what drew her to join Tri-M. Her response was “Because science is creative too!”


At the end of that sixth-grade year, Lyon’s music teacher, Christine Bruns, approached her with an opportunity to become involved in a youth summer theatre program in Binghamton. That summer, Lyon performed in her very first musical, “The Secret Garden,” loved it, and proclaimed herself “a theatre kid!”
Thereafter, Lyon went back to youth theatre for three more summers, was involved in the local “Running to Places” theatre group in her senior year, and acted in all three of the Groton High School musicals that were produced while she attended there. In 2006, she was part of the ensemble and the understudy for Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz” and starred as Cinderella in the musical by the same name in 2007.


Lyon played the role of Zeitl in the 2008 production of “Fiddler on The Roof,” which earned her the Best Supporting Actress award at the Cortland Repertory Theatre’s Pavilion Awards, as well as a scholarship from CRT to further her theatre education at Nazareth College that fall.


Having come full circle, Lyon is back on the Groton stage, not as a performer, but as a talented director. Lyon said she had always wanted to perform, but her education at Nazareth caused her to realize that many other opportunities exist in theatre.


“I might like to be an artistic director someday – maybe in a community theater. I really am OK not performing,” said Lyon, “but I am not OK not being creative.” For now, she is thrilled to be “giving back to the school and the people in Groton who gave so much to me.” She is excited about her upcoming production.


“Meet the Creeps,” by Tim Kelly; produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., is a fun Addams-Family-style farce, with tons of creepy and interesting characters, as well as a zany plot twist in which a “normal” neighbor is trying to win an All-American Street contest, but feels the Creeps are ruining her chances! She comes up with solutions to get them off the street but to no avail. The show is funny, zany, and creepy all wrapped into one with a plot line designed to make us question “What exactly does All-American really mean?” and “How can we win with community growth instead of community destruction?”


The talented cast of characters includes the leads of Brynn Blasz as Tarantula and Mathias Brehm as Sinbad, along with the other supporting and featured roles being played by Justin Batzer, Lena Brehm, Michael Brehm, William Brehm, Evan Carlo, Chloe Conger, Braedy Dilger, JT Holl, Taryn LaTray, Gracie Newman, Olivia Townsend, Natalie Sizemore, Kaitlyn Williams, and Zoe, with cameo appearances by: Bob Brehm, Morgan Dittman, Travis Oudekerk, and Kaylie Riemer.


There will be just one performance given, so be sure to mark your calendar and plan to attend at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 in the high school auditorium, 400 Peru Road. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for students, with children age five and under being admitted free of charge.

Village leaf pickup reminder
Residents of the Village of Groton may have their raked leaves picked up and taken away through Nov. 30. The DPW supervisor, Chad Shurtleff, reminds everyone that leaves should be raked to the curb or street side for pickup; they will not accept plastic bags, brush, or vines. They are happy to provide this service and appreciate your cooperation and understanding that it is for leaves only.


Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit items to Linda Competillo, lmc10@cornell.edu or (607) 227-4922.

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