The Write Stuff is the right show

A review of NPHS’s Fall play production


Lucas Ratliff

North Platte High School’s fall play production opened September 28 to a covid 75% capacity audience.

Lucas Ratliff


You can’t do much in North Platte right now because of COVID restrictions, but you can go to the fall play “The Write Stuff.”

I went to see the fall play on opening night and it was one of the better plays that I have seen. While I enjoy plays, this was especially entertaining to watch because it was well thought-out and witty.

The Write Stuff” is about mediocre student Tom, played by senior Joshua Stoner, who has a spelling test that will determine how the rest of his life goes. To complete the test, the third-grader finds the strategy of not listening to the given sentences for context.  From there the play is a journey through the wild mind and imagination of Tom, as he tries to pass a spelling test with all the wrong words. 

 “The Write Stuff” does a really good job on things like the spectacle and attention to detail.  It was well acted and its humor has a similar vibe to the movie “A Christmas Story.” but it also has a few downsides that I will go into.

Stoner’s performance embodies a child very well.  He is expressive with his eyes and gestures.  I was sitting towards the back, but it was still easy to see his movements, even the subtle ones. Stoner is the high point of the play.

Like “The Christmas Story” movie, this play is also narrated by the adult-version of Tom.  Junior Cali Soper used a smoother-sounding, older “internal” voice that built up scenes to give Stoner’s Tom the space to be funny. She is the catalyst for most of the humor within the play.

 Although Stoner and Soper were the main focus point, the side characters make the play humorous too. Sophomore Joseph Roeder plays class-clown Balthazar.  He was always in the background making or being the butt of jokes. I laughed the hardest when Tom threw a book and it hit Balthazar. Roeder plays an excellent “fool.”

I wish “The Write Stuff” had smoother set transitions.  At one point, a cast member almost tripped on a misplaced tablecloth.  There were projectors showing the spelling word being thought about, but sometimes it was on the wrong slide. These technicalities are understandable for a high school play. I would be really in the moment, enjoying the scene, but then a set problem would happen and I was mentally interrupted. Overall, these things happen.  It was opening night.  I wouldn’t let these malfunctions keep you from going. 

The best thing about the play, is the play. However, it’s also free. The theater department does ask for a free-will donation to see it, but it is not required.  That’s a gift in these financially-tough times. 

I recommend going to the play “The Write Stuff.” The storyline is above average and the acting is surprisingly great. It is a really good break away from COVID stresses and school. My only suggestion is to go with a group of friends because laughing at jokes is always best with your pals.

If you plan to go, now is the time to act! There is only one performance left.  Make sure you catch it tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in NPHS’s Performing Arts Complex.