Peninsula School District thespians are readying for the upcoming theater season.
Auditions are being held at Peninsula High and, thanks to Gig Harbor High School drama coach Jen King and drama booster parent Tonia Ronning, last week I had the pleasure of shooting the dress rehearsal of GHHS’ impending production of “The Curious Savage” under direction of GHHS drama director Kristin Zetterstrom. As always, student performers were delightedly mastering their respective roles.
“The Curious Savage” is a comic tale of greed, generosity and sanity. Ethel Savage, a new widow, has been left with a substantial fortune. Her three grown children, one a senator, one a judge, and one a gold-digger daughter, are intent on keeping Ethel from disposing of the fortune in any way she chooses. They conspire to have her committed to a private sanatorium known as “The Cloisters.” There, while getting to know the colorful characters who live in the facility, Ethel is left to work out how she will deal with her spiteful offspring.
GHHS junior Julie Ronning, who plays the part of Mrs. Savage, said her favorite part of the show experience is “the energy of the performances. Each time it’s like hearing the script for the very first time. The laughter is infectious. People should come see the show because we have an amazing cast and crew of both seasoned and new members. Everyone has grown so much in experience and ability these past months. It’s truly wonderful to see all of them performing.”
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Classmate Sara Kroon, who plays Fairy May, a patient at The Cloisters, is doing “what I love most as well as making so many awesome and unforgettable friends. The show inspires the audience to experience the real world outside our safe walls and to do what you love.”
The favorite part of the show experience for fellow junior John Majmudar, who plays the part of Jeff, a patient at The Cloisters, “is making new relationships with people sharing similar interests.”
The play’s hair stylist, senior Hazel Atwill, gets to help actors truly transform into their characters, she said.
“The energy of the performances is like hearing the script for the very first time,” Atwill said. “The laughter is infectious. (Attending) the show is a good way to support our growing community and see the hard work everyone has put in!”
To junior Elsje Andonian, the understudy for Dr. Emmett, “the best part of the experience is every night will be different. You get to interact and bond with your audience, and every night has a different feel. It’s going to be hilarious! The jokes are good-humored and witty, dry and absolutely wonderfully eloquent.”
The favorite part of the show experience for freshman Shealynn Allen of the sound crew is ALL of it. “People should see the show because It’s really funny and interesting.”
Sophomore Gehrig Pfeffer, part of the wardrobe and stage management team, likes the chemistry between everyone. “The show is different with a great meaning behind it, and is a very funny, odd story.”
To freshman Eleanor Home, understudy for Florence and Mrs. Paddy, “The cast and crew are full of incredible people who are supportive and accepting of new people like me. At times the show will make you laugh out loud, but it also has a meaningful, deep undertone.”
Sophomore Abi VanDoorne, who plays the part of Miss Willie, feels, “The people here at GHHS drama are family; it really shows in all our productions. We have this wonderful, immediate bond that is present in each and every detail of our program. It’s just a really great show.”
Classmate Kiana Greene, Lilly Belle’s understudy, enjoys “seeing characters develop as they continue to improve, and meeting all the amazing people. Everyone will have a good laugh and be happy and satisfied they came.”
Zetterstrom’s assistant director, junior Robby Jones, likes “knowing that every day I get to walk into the auditorium and work with my favorite people in the world and work together to create something fantastic. This show will be hilarious, touching, and all around fantastic.”
“The Curious Savage,” set in the 1950s, is a feel-good play filled with heart in which the neglected virtues of kindness and affection have not been entirely lost in a world that seems motivated at times by greed and dishonesty.
It runs two and a half hours including one intermission. It opens at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, and continues at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 and 5; at 3 p.m. Nov. 6; at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12 and has a special matinee at 1 p.m. Nov 12.
For information, call Jen King at 253-530-3350. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.