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“Property Rites” takes the stage at Liberty High

One-act drama runs Friday and Saturday
Kyle (Ryan Elmer, at right) reacts in horror and frustration as the android sculptures he wants to sell begin to come to life, leading to conflict as they fight for survival against his plans for destruction in “Property Rites,” a one-act play by Alan Haehnel.

NORTH LIBERTY– Kyle McManus has a problem. He is an art collector who invested millions in 15 high-tech androids programed to perform thousands of movements, monologues, dialogues and more. He’d like to sell them but a serious malfunction has arisen; they’ve come alive. The sculptures’ struggle to become autonomous, coupled with his desire to destroy them is played out in the one-act drama “Property Rites,” by Alan Haehnel.
Liberty High’s Theater Department brings the play to the stage this weekend. The show has a cast of 20 with Ryan Elmer as Kyle McManus. “They’ve been phenomenal,” said Director Olivia Symmonds. Auditions were conducted in early October with read-throughs in late October. Rehearsals began on Nov. 11.
“I picked the show because I thought it offered a lot of really unique challenges for the actors as well as a lot of parts and opportunities for students to be involved in the show,” Symmonds said.
Due to scheduling conflicts, Liberty did not have a fall play, but plans a major musical production in the spring as a big, green ogre named Shrek comes to life in the theatrical adaptation of the 2001 animated movie.
“The actors and the crew have worked so hard, in such a short time frame, and they’ve put together an amazing show,” Symmonds said. “It’s a really talented, really hard-working group of students both on stage and behind the scenes, that have put together the show.”
As for the show with androids running amok, as self-awareness and self-preservation take hold, Symmonds said, “It’s a drama with a lot of funny moments.”
The curtain goes up for “Property Rites” on Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Liberty High School Auditorium, with two performances on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.