Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Piedra Vista High School drama members Chandra Chanell Shaull and Schott Haley rehearse a scene from ÒDown with Love,Ó which
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Piedra Vista High School drama members Chandra Chanell Shaull and Schott Haley rehearse a scene from ÒDown with Love,Ó which opens today.
FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista High School Drama is putting on a play based on the 2003 movie "Down With Love."

The play starts today and runs through Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. Performances also are scheduled for Friday and Saturday next week.

"Down With Love" stars senior Scott Haley as Catcher Block, a writer for "Know" magazine, and sophomore Chandra Chanell Shaull playing Barbara Novak, a feminist in New York City in 1962 who has written a book called "Down With Love."

The book makes an argument that women don't need love and that chocolate can replace sex.

Shaull said Catcher is trying to convince Novak to fall in love with him to expose her because she's supposedly not able to love. But, at the same time, Novak is tricking Catcher.

"To me it would be rated G, with lots of innuendo in it," Patrick Cheney, Piedra Vista's drama instructor, said.

Haley said the hardest part for him is to keep up the British accent he uses through most of the play.

Cheney said he took the movie and turned it into a stage production. He said this presented challenges because he had to come up with all the blocking and they had to design all the sets. Cheney said the play includes 20 different set designs, each hand painted.

In order to make the elaborate skyscapes on some of the sets, Cheney said he set up a projector and they traced the image.

For Shaull and Haley, connecting with a 1962 feminist and a womanizer was difficult. Cheney said he eventually told them to exaggerate every movement. Cheney said when they did that he saw them connect with the characters for the first time.

"Overacting was the key," Cheney said.

In addition to Haley and Shaull, Isaac Munson plays Peter MacMannus, the owner of "Know."

"He's a little nerdy and proper," Munson said.

Munson said Peter is often misconstrued as being homosexual, but he is really just shy until he meets Vikki Hiller, played by Katie Geiger.

Vikki is the owner of Banner House, Geiger said, which is the company that published Novak's book. Vikki is also Novak's best friend and she is trying to use Peter to get an article published in the magazine about Novak's book. Geiger said Vikki is kind of shallow and leaves Peter when he doesn't get her the article she wants.

Cheney said everyone who attends will be given a box of candy.

Tickets are $12 for singles and $20 for couples.