Students at Tunkhannock Area High School sure think the corporate world is a laugh.

At least, that’s what their upcoming production, ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ suggests.

Running on April 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, Tunkhannock students have prepared something ‘totally different’ from productions of the past.

The musical, directed by elementary music teacher Jennifer Geary, focuses on a young window-washer, J. Pierrepont Finch, who schemes his way to the top rungs of a corporate ladder, all through the help of the book after which the musical is named.

Geary noted the challenge of helping students acquire a taste for suits and handshakes.

“It has been a little strange,” Geary admitted. “They kind of have no real idea what that’s like, so I had to give them a crash-course.”

And if that wasn’t enough, the story is set in the early 1960s, adding another layer of complexity to the characters students portray.

The plot is designed as a satire of both business relations in general and 60s behavior of men, which Geary described as ‘boys being boys.’

That behavior is touched on in a scene where male employees are reminded not to take advantage of their employees, capped off with a piece appropriately titled, ‘A Secretary is Not a Toy,’

Above all, the story is one of deceit and trickery, as Finch uses a happy face and seemingly unflinching work ethic to manipulate those above him into seeing him as a promotion-worthy employee.

He starts at the bottom, in the mail room, and using the book’s advice, schemes his way through each echelon of a giant business, The World Wide Wicket Company.

John Vito Powell, of Lake Winola, has taken on the lead role, and describes it as quite an interesting character to get into.

“My character is really conniving - he’s very fake and happy all the time,” Powell said.

In a roundabout way, the role has informed him of skills he will need to utilize following graduation in June, as he begins his journey through college and on to the professional world.

Vito plans to attend Pace University, which is based out of New York City, N.Y. There, he’ll study communications and media arts.

Certainly, any business skills he can pick up along the way will aide him.

“It’s taught me more of how to deal with certain people in a professional setting,” Powell said.

And if the play sounds a bit boring, what with all of the business lingo and suits, don’t write it off without giving the underlying love themes a chance.

Sarah Schork acts opposite Powell as Rosemary Pilkington, a secretary who tries desperately to get Finch’s attention, ultimately kindling a lasting bond between the two.

Uniquely, there is no moral resolution to the plot. Without giving it away, the ever-manipulative Finch never really suffers consequences for his deceitful actions.

In fact, he is mostly rewarded for them, which essentially makes him an anti-hero.

Other notable roles in the production include Alex Phillips as company president J.B. Biggley, Gerard Mirabelli as Biggley’s arrogant nephew Bud Frump, and Olivia Romano as Hedy LaRue, Biggley’s secretary and secret love interest.

Additional executives in the production are Sean Andres, Ben Cameron, Patrick Cronin, Luke Cruver, Colin Franko, LJ Marcho, Collin Meyers and Austin Stephenson.

They are joined by additional secretaries Tiffany Atkins, Elizabeth D’Ulisse, Nadine Daley, Jessica DeRemer, Kira DeRemer, Mayling Ijomah, Theresa Longstreet, Sarah Pharr, Lillian Repsher and Sami Seidel.

Students chose ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ because it differed from the more traditional, family productions of the past three or four years.

“The students said they wanted to do something different from the last couple of shows - a more adult show,” Geary said.

The strategy may have worked, as more than half of the 23-student cast has never been involved in a production before.

“To watch it, you can’t believe it. They seem so at home up there,” Geary said.

Because it revolves around a masculine satire of 1960’s business, more male students are involved, as well.

And while it was challenging for students to become characters of a time and place they knew nothing about, the challenge is seemingly more rewarding than the product itself.

“It’s a credit to them. They’ve developed their own characters,” Geary said. “They’ve tried very hard to come up with something that’s believable.”

Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door for $7 general admission. For reserve seating at a price of $8 per ticket, email tickets@tasd.net.

Students at Tunkhannock Area High School sure think the corporate world is a laugh.

At least, that’s what their upcoming production, ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ suggests.

Running on April 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, Tunkhannock students have prepared something ‘totally different’ from productions of the past.

The musical, directed by elementary music teacher Jennifer Geary, focuses on a young window-washer, J. Pierrepont Finch, who schemes his way to the top rungs of a corporate ladder, all through the help of the book after which the musical is named.

Geary noted the challenge of helping students acquire a taste for suits and handshakes.

“It has been a little strange,” Geary admitted. “They kind of have no real idea what that’s like, so I had to give them a crash-course.”

And if that wasn’t enough, the story is set in the early 1960s, adding another layer of complexity to the characters students portray.

The plot is designed as a satire of both business relations in general and 60s behavior of men, which Geary described as ‘boys being boys.’

That behavior is touched on in a scene where male employees are reminded not to take advantage of their employees, capped off with a piece appropriately titled, ‘A Secretary is Not a Toy,’

Above all, the story is one of deceit and trickery, as Finch uses a happy face and seemingly unflinching work ethic to manipulate those above him into seeing him as a promotion-worthy employee.

He starts at the bottom, in the mail room, and using the book’s advice, schemes his way through each echelon of a giant business, The World Wide Wicket Company.

John Vito Powell, of Lake Winola, has taken on the lead role, and describes it as quite an interesting character to get into.

“My character is really conniving - he’s very fake and happy all the time,” Powell said.

In a roundabout way, the role has informed him of skills he will need to utilize following graduation in June, as he begins his journey through college and on to the professional world.

Vito plans to attend Pace University, which is based out of New York City, N.Y. There, he’ll study communications and media arts.

Certainly, any business skills he can pick up along the way will aide him.

“It’s taught me more of how to deal with certain people in a professional setting,” Powell said.

And if the play sounds a bit boring, what with all of the business lingo and suits, don’t write it off without giving the underlying love themes a chance.

Sarah Schork acts opposite Powell as Rosemary Pilkington, a secretary who tries desperately to get Finch’s attention, ultimately kindling a lasting bond between the two.

Uniquely, there is no moral resolution to the plot. Without giving it away, the ever-manipulative Finch never really suffers consequences for his deceitful actions.

In fact, he is mostly rewarded for them, which essentially makes him an anti-hero.

Other notable roles in the production include Alex Phillips as company president J.B. Biggley, Gerard Mirabelli as Biggley’s arrogant nephew Bud Frump, and Olivia Romano as Hedy LaRue, Biggley’s secretary and secret love interest.

Additional executives in the production are Sean Andres, Ben Cameron, Patrick Cronin, Luke Cruver, Colin Franko, LJ Marcho, Collin Meyers and Austin Stephenson.

They are joined by additional secretaries Tiffany Atkins, Elizabeth D’Ulisse, Nadine Daley, Jessica DeRemer, Kira DeRemer, Mayling Ijomah, Theresa Longstreet, Sarah Pharr, Lillian Repsher and Sami Seidel.

Students chose ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ because it differed from the more traditional, family productions of the past three or four years.

“The students said they wanted to do something different from the last couple of shows - a more adult show,” Geary said.

The strategy may have worked, as more than half of the 23-student cast has never been involved in a production before.

“To watch it, you can’t believe it. They seem so at home up there,” Geary said.

Because it revolves around a masculine satire of 1960’s business, more male students are involved, as well.

And while it was challenging for students to become characters of a time and place they knew nothing about, the challenge is seemingly more rewarding than the product itself.

“It’s a credit to them. They’ve developed their own characters,” Geary said. “They’ve tried very hard to come up with something that’s believable.”

Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door for $7 general admission.

For reserve seating at a price of $8 per ticket, email tickets@tasd.net.