The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

by Joseph Robinette

Interesting Facts about The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

In the 1940s, Oxford University professor C.S. Lewis struggled and fought to complete “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. Little did he know that his novel would become a best seller, lead to six sequels, and still be widely read decades later.
Here are some things you may not know about this long-lived children’s classic.
1. The story was inspired by an image of a faun. From age 16 onward, Lewis often found himself imagining “a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood.” According to his short essay “It All Began With A Picture”, the image continued to come to him until, at age 40, he said to himself, “Let's try to make a story about it.”
2. The book was also inspired by three girls who lived with Lewis during World War II. In 1939, three girls, Margaret, Mary, and Katherine, were evacuated from London because of anticipated bombings and sent to live with Lewis in the countryside for a short time. This situation seems to be the inspiration for the four children—Susan, Peter, Edmund, and Lucy—being sent to live with the old Professor in the book.
3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe took 10 years to write.
Lewis started in 1939 and finished in 1949. The novel was published in 1950. It didn’t take off for several years, though.
4. The story was floundering until Lewis invented Aslan the lion.
Lewis wasn’t sure what to do with the book until “Aslan came bounding into it.” He’d been having dreams of lions, and found that putting Aslan in “pulled the whole story together, and soon He pulled the six other Narnian stories in after Him.” Incidentally, Aslan means "lion" in Turkish.
5. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were in a writing group called The Inklings. While both writers were working on fantasy novels—Lewis on Narnia and Tolkien on “The Lord of the Rings”—they met every Monday morning to talk about writing. Others started to join them, and soon the group swelled to 19 men, so they started meeting on Thursday evenings to share and discuss their work.
6. Lewis destroyed the first version of the book because his friends didn’t like it. Before 1947, Lewis wrote a draft of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” with four children named Ann, Martin, Rose, and Peter. The reaction of his friends to the story was discouraging, to say the least. He said in a letter, “It was, by the unanimous verdict of my friends, so bad that I destroyed it.”
7. Lucy is a real person. Lucy is based on Lucy Barfield, Lewis’s goddaughter, and the daughter of Owen Barfield. She was 4 years old when he started the book and 14 when he finished it. In the dedication to Lucy, he said, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it.”
8. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a “magical doorway” story. As the term suggests, this is a story where a door or other opening allows a character to leave the real world and enter a magical world. Other magical doorways include the rabbit hole that Alice falls down in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Platform 9 3/4 in the Harry Potter series.
9. Lewis jumbled all kinds of mythology into the book. Narnia draws on Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology, Irish and British fairy tales, Germanic folklore, and Arthurian romance, just to name a few. Even Santa Claus makes an appearance.
10. The White Witch is based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Like the Snow Queen, the White Witch is a tall woman dressed in white who is capable of freezing people—the Snow Queen turns their hearts to ice and the White Witch turns people to stone. Both women bring a boy onto a sled and destroy him emotionally through evil magic.
11. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is chronologically the second book in the Narnia series. While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was written first, The Magician’s Nephew is chronologically where the story starts. Many people read The Magician’s Nephew first so they can go from the earliest to the latest point in the series.
12. Professor Kirke was based on Lewis’s high school tutor.
The Professor, whose name is Digory Kirke, is based on William T. Kirkpatrick, who tutored Lewis when he was a teenager. Along with appearing in the first book, the Professor is the protagonist of The Magician’s Nephew and also appears in The Last Battle.
13. Tolkien didn’t like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
In 1949, Lewis read a completed manuscript of the book to Tolkien and was surprised by his negative reaction. There’s much speculation as to why he disliked the book so much. Some say it’s because Tolkien didn’t like how Lewis mixed different mythologies together. Another theory is that Tolkien was threatened by the speed with which Lewis assembled his world, when Tolkien was so meticulous in his invention of Middle-earth.
14. It's one of the best-selling books of all time. It’s difficult to rank all-time best-selling books, but when people try, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is usually on the list. In any case, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is ridiculously successful. It has been translated to 47 languages and adapted for TV, stage, radio, and the silver screen. In 2005, it was made into a big-budget movie starring Tilda Swinton and James McAvoy.
15. Turkish delight is real candy you can make yourself.
The White Witch gives Edmund magical Turkish delight that he can’t stop eating. “Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.” You can whip up a batch yourself. Its like Applets and Cotlets.

 

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Spring, 2019

 

 

THE CAST AND CREW OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!

2019

Name Characters/Position
Henry Olsen Maurice, Spoon #2, Prince double
Noah Harveaux Cogsworth, Villager
Cameron Wertenberger Lumiere,  Shepherd
Tim Leslie Beast
Ally Andersen Chip, Candle Seller
Brantley Bryan Belle
Kiri Schoonover Babette, Hat Seller
Elyse Dunn Lady with Babies, Fork, Bar Maid
Shelby Sander Milkmaid, Fork, Bar Maid
Matthew Marquez Baker, Knife, Wolf, Gaston's Crony, Mob
Timothy Grigg  Knife, Wolf, Gaston's Crony, Mob
Mason Bower Gaston, Villager
Lauren Harveaux Sausage Curl Girl 1, Napkin, Gaston's crony (guy)
Brooke Mason Villager, Cheese Grater, Bar Maid
Xavier Hill Villager, Egg Beater, Wolf, Tavern Keeper, Mob
Sophie Udell Silly Girl 4, Salt Shaker
Kyle Fergus LeFou, Dancing Carpet
Sam Olsen Monsieur D'Arque, Narrator/Villager, Enchanted Object (coatrack?)
Ashtyn Church Egg Seller, Pepper Shaker, Bar Maid
Luca Westfall Fish Man, Spoon #1, Wolf, Gaston's Crony

Aineka Carlson

Madam de La Grande Bouche (Wardrobe), Villager

Kira Doonan

Mrs. Potts, Sausage  Curl Girl 2

Courtnie Trego

Silly Girl 1, Napkin
Crystal Chavez Silly girl 3, Napkin
Angie Barajas Lady with Cane, Plate, Mob
Angela Gregory Aristocratic Lady, Menu, Mob
Mia Hunter Villager, Plate, Bar Maid, Mob
Carolina Garcia Baker's Wife (Marie), Plate, Bar Maid, Mob
Tyler Hutt Bookseller, tech
 TECH CREW:  PreProduction Role/RUNNING CREW ROLE
Macey Emery Props/PROPS
Tyler Hutt Construction/SET CREW
Levi Bollinger Construction/SET CREW
Tanner Morford Construction/SOUND BOARD
Chase Morford Construction/SET CREW
Ryan Hill Construction/FOLLOWSPOT
Steven Brant Construction/LIGHT COMPUTER
Wyatt Collins Construction/USHER
Cydni Anderson Costumes/CURTAIN/STAGE MANAGER
Mattie Barajas Costumes/USHER
Bre Hutchinson Costumes/FOLLOWSPOT
Payton Sims Costumes/SOUND COMPUTER
Addison Bower Props apprentice/PROPS
Audrey Harveaux Props apprentice/PROPS
Asha Clevenger Props/COSTUMES/MAKEUP
Caleb Wertenberger Construction/set crew

2016-2017 Season

 

YCTIWY POSTER ZHS smaller  
   

You Can't Take It With You   by Moss Hart and George Kaufman

When You Can’t Take It With You opened at the Booth Theatre in December of 1936, the play struck a chord of delight with critics and audiences. Richard Lockridge of the New York Sun wrote of the premiere, “There is not a fleck of satire in You Can’t Take It With You, but only gargantuan absurdity, hilariously preposterous antics and the rumble of friendly laughter, with madly comic people.”

                  You Can’t Take It With You also offered a figurative warmth. When the comedy opened, the United States was more than six years deep into the Great Depression, the economic downturn that, by 1932, had left about 25 percent of the American workforce jobless. In this period of national hardship, audiences were eager to forget their troubles.

The result was a swath of “escapist” or “screwball” comedies on both stage and screen—or, very often, on both. Dinner at Eight, Bringing Up Baby, and Twentieth Century (among others) transitioned from stage to screen within a space of one to two years. The film version of You Can’t Take It With You premiered at Radio City Music Hall while the Broadway production was still playing just five blocks away. Though the 1930s also saw the premieres of darker plays of political and social criticism (like the work of Clifford Odets), escapist comedies were, on a national level, the popular entertainment of the day. Today, popular comedies are often perceived to be a lowbrow art form, but in the 1930s, screwball was celebrated. You Can’t Take It With You was awarded the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the film version of the play received Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director (and was nominated in five other categories).

Despite the timeless appeal of You Can’t Take It With You, the conversations that transpire in the Vanderhof home reveal the specific attitudes and questions of the play’s time. 1937 was a difficult year for many Americans, and in addition to entertaining their audience, Kaufman and Hart offered an optimistic vision of how to thrive in “a crazy world.” 

  • Following the 1929 stock market crash, most Americans saw their living standards decrease. When Grandpa Vanderhof asks Mr. Kirby if he believes the country is out of the Depression, he echoes concerns held by the original audience.
  • In 1934, around 15% of New York City’s population was unemployed and living on public relief. While the Sycamores may enjoy dining on corn flakes, canned salmon, and frankfurters, not everyone could afford to eat well.
  • With the introduction of Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933, expanded relief and jobs programs helped millions of Americans. But in 1937, the economic recovery took a scary downturn. The causes of this “recession within the Depression” were subject to debate.
  • References to Penny’s “war play” and to events in Russia reveal shifting views on America’s relationship to the larger world. The devastation of World War I caused U.S. foreign policy to favor isolationism.  Reluctance to intervene in foreign affairs deepened as a result of the Depression; however, by 1937 it was becoming impossible to ignore problems overseas. World War II would soon  be upon us.
  • The presence of the upper class Kirby family demonstrates that some people were fortunate enough to avoid the worst of the Depression; indeed, the wealthiest New Yorkers continued to live good lives. However, Wall Street brokers like Mr. Kirby had to work hard to maintain their lifestyle.
  • Martin Vanderhof, patriarch of You Can’t Take It With You, refuses to pay income tax because he “doesn’t believe in it.” He doesn’t see how paying taxes—money used for interstate highways, the military, and other public works—benefits him. Though a type of income tax was enacted to pay for the Civil War, Congress passed the 16th Amendment in 1913. This gave the federal government the power to tax individual incomes.
  • In You Can’t Take It With You, the Sycamores enjoy constant visits from Russian artists and royalty, and events in Russia are often discussed. The population of Russian immigrants in the United States grew rapidly after 1917. The overthrow of the czarist Russian Empire by socialist revolutionaries came with massive violence and social turmoil.  This wave of the new immigrants were prominent citizens of the former Russian society, now perceived as “enemies” by the Soviet Union. Although welcomed by the American government, they had to find ways to support themselves. In New York, the sight of Russian aristocrats working as waiters, store clerks, and elevator operators was an everyday reality.

The world outside the Sycamore home was in turmoil: Americans were losing hope and questioning the fundamental values of our country. But Grandpa Vanderhof and his family demonstrate another way to cope with challenges. The play proposes that by following our bliss and living for love, we can find happiness even in the hardest of times.

—The Roundabout Theater Upstage Guide

Sara VanCorbach                     Penny Sycamore

Brooke Boisselle                     Essie Carmichael

Aineka Carlson                        Rheba

Tim Leslie                                Paul Sycamore

Kyle Fergus                            Mr. DePinna

Christian Fendell                   Ed Carmichael

Ally Andersen                        Donna

Levi Nelson Grandpa             Martin Vanderhof

Sami Froemke                            Alice Sycamore

Courtnie Trego                         Wilma C. Henderson, IRS

Roman Sifuentes                    Tony Kirby

Cameron Wertenberger              Boris Kolenkhov

Reigna Bower                           Mrs. Miriam Kirby

Kobe Trego                            Mr. Anthony Kirby, Sr.

Claire Simmons                    Ms. Gay Wellington

Katie Doonan                    The Head G Man

Aryn Mamizuka                   Mac, The G Man

Sandra Soto                      Jim, The G Man

Courtnie Trego                      Mike, The G Man

Kendra Bower                          The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina

 

Reon Whittum                Construction/Set Team

Tim Everts

Steven Brant

Mason Bower

David Grigg

Xavier Hill

Assisted by Ellie Aguiar, Reigna Bower and Kendra Bower

Rachel Fender               Costumes Team

Anita Huffaker

Madelyn Villafan

Payton Sims

McKenna Woodyard

Katie Doonan                Props Team

Aryn Mamizuka

Sandra Soto

Claire Simmons

Kira Doonan                 Program/Administration/Lobby

Assisted by Naomi Fender

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  Oklahoma RH small

OKLAHOMA!  by Rodgers and Hammerstein

                After long and highly distinguished careers with other   collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist) joined forces to create the most consistently fruitful and successful partnership in the American musical theatre.

                  Prior to his work with Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on a series of musical comedies that epitomized the wit and sophistication of Broadway in its heyday. Prolific on Broadway, in London and in Hollywood from the '20s into the early '40s, Rodgers & Hart wrote more than 40 shows and film scores. Among their greatest were ON YOUR TOES, BABES IN ARMS, THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, I MARRIED AN ANGEL and PAL JOEY.      Throughout the same era Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) brought new life to a moribund artform: the operetta. He wrote such operetta classics as THE DESERT SONG, ROSE-MARIE, and THE NEW MOON. With Jerome Kern he wrote SHOW BOAT, the 1927 operetta that changed the course of modern musical theatre.             

        OKLAHOMA!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein      musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, representing a unique fusion of Rodgers' musical comedy and Hammerstein's operetta. A  milestone in the development of the American musical, it also marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in Broadway musical history, and was followed by CAROUSEL, ALLEGRO, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, ME AND JULIET, PIPE DREAM, FLOWER DRUM SONG and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical specifically for the big screen, STATE FAIR, and one for television, CINDERELLA.   

           The saga of the trials and tribulations of Oklahoma! before it reached its première performance in New York to become one of the surpassing triumphs of the American theatre is now a twice-told tale. Virtually everybody connected with the production was convinced he was involved with a box-office disaster. Here was a musical without stars; without "gags" and humor; without the sex appeal of chorus girls in flimsy attire. Here was a musical that strayed into realism and grim tragedy, with Jud as one of the main characters, and his death as a climax of the   story. Here, finally, was a musical which for the first time in Broadway history leaned heavily upon     American folk-ballet--the choreography by Agnes De Mille, one of America's foremost choreographers and ballet dancers. Oklahoma! might be fine art, was the general consensus of opinion before première time, but it was poison at the box-office. When Oklahoma! opened out of town scouts sent back to New York the succinct message: "No Girls, No Gags, No Chance." After the New York opening, the line was revised to read: "No Girls, No Gags, No Tickets." For at that première performance the surpassing beauty, the freshness, the imagination and the magic of this musical play held the audience spellbound from the opening curtain on. There was an ovation at the end. But Oklahoma! not only opened new vistas for the American musical theatre with its new and unorthodox approaches, and with the vitality and inspiration of Hammerstein's text and lyrics and Rodgers' music, it created box-office history. It ran on Broadway for five years and nine months (2,248 performances), breaking all of the then existing records both for length of run and for box-office receipts.

This year marks  its 74th anniversary of this classic and very American musical.  Enjoy!     (www.rnh.com)

Kobe Trego                                                                                                                   Curly McLain, cowhand

Reigna Bower                                                                                                               Aunt Eller

Sara Beth Van Corbach                                                                                              Laurey Williams, Eller’s niece

Tim Leslie                                                                                                                       Jud Fry, farm hand

Levi Nelson                                                                                                                   Will Parker, cowhand

Sami Froemke                                                                                                              Ado Annie Carnes, Farmer’s Daughter

Alan Garcia                                                                                                                   Ali Hakim, a Peddler

Christian Fendell                                                                                                       Ike Skidmore, Rancher

Courtnie Trego                                                                                                            Aggie Skidmore, Ike’s Daughter

Kiri Schoonover                                                                                                          Armina Skidmore, Ike’s Daughter

Claire Simmons                                                                                                           Virginia  O’Hara, one of Laurey’s friends

Brooke Boisselle                                                                                                       Gertie Cummings, Shopkeeper’s                                                                                                                                         Daughter

Anita Huffaker                                                                                                             Ellen, one of Laurey’s friends

Madelyn Tuning                                                                                                           Kate, one of Laurey’s friends

Kira Doonan                                                                                                                 Lauralee, Farmer’s Daughter

Aineka Carlson                                                                                                            Vivian, one of Laurey’s friends

Kendra Bower                                                                                                              Ellie Mae, Rancher’s Daughter

Rachel Fender                                                                                                              Fred, Farmer

Kyle Fergus                                                                                                                   Slim, Farmer

McKenna Woodyard                                                                                                    Joe, cowhand

Mason Bower                                                                                                              Sam, Cowhand                    

Levi Bollinger                                                                                                               Cord Elam, Federal Marshal/ Rancher     

Mason Bower                                                                                                              Andrew Carnes, Farmer and Local Judge                

Calla Isaac                                                                                                                     RoseMarie,  Rancher’s Daughter

Ally Andersen                                                                                                              Alyssa, Farmer’s Daughter

Intan Qanita                                                                                                                 Rosie Ann, Farmer’s Daughter

Savannah Castilleja                                                                                                 Emma, Farmer’s Daughter

Rachel Fender, Savannah Castilleja, Kira Doonan                                                Saloon Girls

 

Reon Whittum, Tim Everts, Steven Brant,                                                 Farmer and Cowman Fighters and Dancers

and Tyler Hutt                                                                                                                   and Set/Construction Crew!

Madelyn Villafan                                                                                                      Costumes Team and Sound

Payton Sims                                                                                                                  Costumes Team and Lights

Mia Hernandez                                                                                                           Props

Elisabeth Aguiar                                                                                                        Costumes Team/Program Biographies

 

Acting Direction and Producer                                                        Mrs. Lynn Brant

Musical Direction                                                                               Ms. Victoria Lodahl

Technical Direction                                                                            Mrs. Theresa Bell

Choreography                                                                                    Mrs. Brittany Andrews and Mrs. Cheryl Crossley

Costumer                                                                                             Mrs. Debra Geffe

 

 

 
 

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The Princess Who Had No Name

Fall, 2013

When a girl wakes up alone in a tower in the forest, she has no memory of her past. She can’t remember where she’s from or how she got there. She can’t even remember her own name! All alone, she embarks on a journey to recall her past. Along the way, she meets several fairy-tale characters — Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella and Rapunzel to name a few. Some are helpful and some dangerous, yet all have information that intertwines and helps our fair maiden recall her own story, eventually revealing her true identity as a princess. Of course, her prince is desperately looking for her, but he seems to always be one step behind and inadvertently rescuing and winning the hearts of the wrong princesses! With fun new takes on the stories everyone loves, the Princess’s quest to remember her true identity keeps everyone guessing to the happily ever after ending!

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Tiffany Prechel Production Preparation Crew`
Natalie Benson Good Fairy 1 and Forest animal
Sami Froemke Production Preparation Crew
Claire Simmons Good Fairy 2 and Forest Animal
Rebecca Negrete-Ramos Rapunzel's Forest Witch and Forest Animal
Marcella Godina Fairy Godmother
Sophia Bos Snow White
Sarah Dunn Bear (middle) and Southern Courtier
Iszondrea Robbins Giddy the Dwarf/Southern Courtier
Lindsey Rightmire Good Fairy 3 and Forest Animal
Meagan Andersen Goldilocks/Southern Courtier
Kasie Thompson Cinderella
Zoie Smith Flighty the dwarf
Nicole Barajas Queen of the West and Queen of the South
Stormy Slack Production Preparation Crew
Alice Hiemstra The Princess
Esmeralda Barocio Gonzalez Evil Fairy, Forest Animal
Sabrina Allen Guilty the Dwarf/Southern Courtier
Rosie Green Rapunzel
Kristen Yanez The Steward/Forest Creature
Amanda Gregory Hansel/Gretel Forest Witch/ Southern Courtier
Megan Sifuentes Gretel (later Whiny the Dwarf)
Rayanna Kuhnhenn Queen of the North/forest animal
Michael Cozzens Little Bear/Southern Courtier (later Prince Adonis)
Terrence Kayutak Hippie the Dwarf/Southern Courtier
Levi Nelson Whiny the Dwarf/Southern Courtier (later, Prince Reveille)
Nathan Rodriguez The Herald and Prince Swavay
Sterling Smith Rumplestiltskin (also later, Papa Bear)
Ian Ritchie Nosy the Dwarf/Southern Courtier
Isaac Alexander Rowdy the Dwarf; King of the South
Sara VanCorbach The Nurse/Forest Animal
Ethan Fischer Big Bear and Prince Adonis (original)
Trint Schenk Prince Reveille (original)
Cole VanderMeulen Hansel/Prince Hercules
Samantha Pietscher Production Preparation Crew
Rebecca Mann Production Preparation Crew
Rachel Fender Production Preparation Crew
Reigna Bower Production Preparation Crew
Elizabeth Aguiar Production preparation crew
Gabbee Pistoresi Production Preparation crew
Karina Lunning Production Preparation Crew
Jenna Bower Production Preparation Crew
Hayley Anthony Production Preparation Crew
Kenia Rangel Production Preparation Crew
Alejandra Carranza Production Preparation Crew
Naomi Campbell Production Preparation Crew
Ryan Grenz Production Preparation Crew
Reon Whittum Production Preparation Crew
Cody Juan Production Preparation Crew
Josh Fender Production Preparation Crew
Austin Wingardner Production Preparation Crew
Jazmin Carranza Production Preparation Crew
Sarah Soto Production Preparation Crew
Caitlyn Wertenberger Production Preparation Crew
Cody Kallenberger Production Preparation Crew
Sophie Allen Production Preparation Crew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willy Wonka

Spring 2014

The novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written in 1964 by British author Roald Dahl, a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter.
Born in Wales toNorwegian parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of Acting wing commander. He rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults and became one of the world's best-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century." In 2008, The London Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His short stories are known for their unexpected endings and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark humor.
Dahl's works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written in 1964. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka. The book's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, was written by Roald Dahl in 1972. Dahl had also planned to write a third book in the series but never finished it.
The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl's experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree's were England's two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other's factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate-making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.

It was later adapted into two major movies: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1971 (which was actually despised by Roald Dahl himself), starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, character actor Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, and Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket. It did alright at the box office, but subsequent sales on DVD have made it a cult classic since. Concurrently with the 1971 film, a line of candies was introduced by the Quaker Oats Company that uses the book's characters and imagery for its marketing.

Another film version, titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and directed by Tim Burton, was released in 2005. It starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket, Deep Roy as the Oompa-Loompas, and Geoffrey Holder as the Narrator. The film was a hit. The 1971 and 2005 films are consistent with the written work to varying degrees. The Burton film greatly expanded Willy Wonka's personal back-story borrowing many themes and elements from the sequel. Both films heavily expanded the personalities of the four bad children and their parents from the limited descriptions in the book.  

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, the musical written by Tim McDonald and Leslie Bricusse, made its stage premiere in 2004 at the Kennedy Center. It premiered with a cast of only seven, with many of the characters, such as the grandparents and thechildrens’ parents, being played by nearly life-size puppets. It was given mixed reviews at the time, but has grown to be loved by most who watch it. Since then, it has been performed all over, from tiny high schools like ours, to huge Las Vegas productions. A new version is currently on the London stage.

Staging this classic fantasy story was a huge challenge for ZCSTC—and students and directors alike have been working for months to design and build the many, many parts of the factory where candy dreams come true.    It was a first show the used rear stage projections as part of the set, and the second act, comprised of the factory scenes, pretty much filled up our tiny backstage with not only elaborate set pieces but also a large crew of techies to move it all fast enough!  It was a fun experience and a challenge at the same time.

Directed by Lynn Brant, Joyce Hollenbaugh and Jason Schoonover

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Willy Wonka                              Eugene Bell                                                      

Kandie                                         Sophia Bos      

Fanny Trout                                Meagan Anderson            

                         

Charlie Bucket                          Sterling Smith

Mrs. Bucket                                Sara VanCorbach

Mr. Bucket                                Alex Fergus

Grandma Josephine                   Sabrina Allen

Grandpa Joe I                          saac Alexander

Grandma Georgina                  Megan Sifuentes

Grandpa George                      Levi Nelson

 

Townspeople

Amanda Gregory

Brooke Boisselle

Caitlyn Wertenberger

Madelyn Tuning

Claire Simmons

Samantha Pietscher

Sarah Dunn

Sophia Allen

Charlie’s Friends

Rachel Fender

Becky Crossley

Colleen Bell

Emma: Lindsey Rightmire

Alvin: Nathan Rodriguez

Matilda: Rebecca Negrete Ramos

Janie: Marcella Godina

Augustus Gloop Kobe Trego

Mrs. Gloop Madeline Dunbar

Veruca Salt Rosie Green

Mr. Salt Cole VanderMeulen

Mike Teavee Ian Richie

Ms. Teavee Kasie Thompson

Violet Beauregarde Alice Hiemstra

Mrs. Beauregarde Marisa Nelson

Chorus of Cooks/Germans Rebecca Negrete Ramos

Marcella Godina

Lindsey Rightmire

Becky Crossley

Amanda Gregory

Brooke Boisselle

Caitlyn Wertenberger

Claire Simmons

Colleen Bell

Madelyn Tuning

Rachel Fender

Samantha Pietscher

Sophia Allen

The Chef Sarah Dunn

The Camera/Sound Man Nathan Rodriguez

Factory Chorus

Meagan Anderson

Sophie Bos

Sara VanCorbach

Alex Fergus

Sabrina Allen

Megan Sifuentes

Rebecca Negrete Ramos

Marcella Godina

Brooke Boisselle

Caitlyn Wertenberger

Samantha Pietscher

Oompa Loompas

Levi Nelson

Lindsey Rightmire

Nathan Rodriguez

Amanda Gregory

Claire Simmons

Colleen Bell

Madelyn Tuning

Rachel Fender

Sarah Dunn

Sophia Allen

Becky Crossley

Attendance at ZCSTC Plays 2007-Present

 

  Year Fall/Spring Name of Show Attendance  
  2012 winter Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 511 (two nights only)
  2007 Fall The Matchmaker 592    
  2016 Fall You Can't Take It With You 703    
  2009 Fall Christmas Carol 709    
  2010 Fall Midsummer Night's Dream 716    
  2014 Fall The Wind in the Willows 769    
  2018 Fall The Pink Panther Strikes Again 812    
  2008 Fall The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1) 855    
  2015 Fall The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2) 918    
  2010 Spring Pirates of Penzance 954    
  2013 Fall The Princess Who Had No Name 958    
  2009 Spring Once Upon a Mattress 986    
  2017 Spring Oklahoma! 986    
  2011 Fall The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood 992    
  2012 fall Alice in Wonderland 1049    
  2018 fall The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe 1146    
  2012 Spring Wizard of Oz 1152    
  2018 Spring Annie 1158    
  2008 Spring Annie 1183    
  2015 Spring Mary Poppins 1303    
  2011 Spring Cinderella 1304    
  2013 Spring Seussical 1367    
  2014 Spring Willy Wonka 1423    
  2007 spring Beauty and the Beast 1540    
  2019 Spring Beauty and the Beast 1546    

 

Fall shows only

  Year Fall/Spring Name of Show Attendance  
  2018 Fall The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe 1146    
  2012 fall Alice in Wonderland 1049    
  2011 Fall The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood 992    
  2013 Fall The Princess Who Had No Name 958    
  2015 Fall The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2) 918    
  2008 Fall The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1) 855    
  2018 Fall The Pink Panther Strikes Again 812    
  2014 Fall The Wind in the Willows 769    
  2010 Fall Midsummer Night's Dream 716    
  2009 Fall Christmas Carol 709    
  2016 Fall You Can't Take It With You 703    
  2007 Fall The Matchmaker 592    
  2012 winter Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 511 (two nights only--so this has the highest average attendance by night!)

 

Spring shows only

2019 Spring Beauty and the Beast 1546    
2007 spring Beauty and the Beast 1540 **  
2014 Spring Willy Wonka 1423    
2013 Spring Seussical 1367    
2016 Spring Shrek the Musical 1351    
2011 Spring Cinderella 1304    
2015 Spring Mary Poppins 1303    
2018 Spring Annie 1158    
2008 Spring Annie 1183    
2012 Spring Wizard of Oz 1152    
2017 Spring Oklahoma! 986    
2009 Spring Once Upon a Mattress 986    
2010 Spring Pirates of Penzance 954    

1990-1991: 

The Mousetrap  by Agatha Christie (March 1991)


Mrs. Brant's first play at ZHS!  With the intrepid group of less than 10 in the Drama Club, we waited until March to mount our first production.  

"A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer. The suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, and the suspicions that are in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage. Others are a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. Into their midst comes a policeman, traveling on skis. He no sooner arrives, than the jurist is killed. Two down, and one to go. To get to the rationale of the murderer's pattern, the policeman probes the background of everyone present, and rattles a lot of skeletons. Another famous Agatha Christie switch finish! Chalk up another superb intrigue for the foremost mystery writer of her time."  (licensed through Samuel French (www.samuelfrench.com))

The Worst High School Play in the World by William Gleason (May 1991)


The Drama Club grew after their first outing, performing this farce based on the life of Ivanhoe, and featuring everyone from cast from the March play to heavyweight wrestlers in cameo parts!

"This play begins in the year 1243 A.D. and all is not well in the land of Saxonia. Darkness and discontent hang thick in the air like sausages in a smokehouse. The reasonably handsome King Isadore is off to the Crusades to smite heathens and purchase porcelain. In his place, his creep brother Prince Viscera brings sorrow and fear to every hearth and leaves them sitting on the front porch like two quarts of spoiled milk. There is also joy in Saxonia, for Isadore has not only left town but he has also left a son. The boy's name is Ivanha and this is his story. It is a story of love and revenge. More than that, it is the worst plot you've ever seen on a stage! Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear when men were men, women were women... and squirrels were squirrels!" (licensed through Dramatic Publishing (www.dramaticpublishing.com))

 

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1991-1992

Three Murders and Its Only Monday! by Pat Cook (Fall, 1991)

The next year we were back at it again, and gaining more members.  A large group of freshmen joined our ranks--one that would become the first of many influential groups to stick with drama for all four years of their high school experience.  We did a hilarious detective/murder mystery to start off the year.  

""It was the kind of night when you caught yourself holding your breath for no reason at all." So says private eye Harry Monday as he investigates three murders at the Peaceful Pines Sanitarium. Even the police are getting tired of coming out and ask Doctor Morrissey if he could just phone in the details. Then when Tara, a sultry soon-to-be-heiress, shows up, Harry puts his best foot forward... right in his mouth. "Odd how relatives always head up a suspect list," he notes as the deceased's families arrive. Odder still when he finds out they all belong to the same family! Harry finds it tough going when he tries to determine who killed an old sea captain, a ventriloquist and a tramp. What did these three have in common? And why would lawyer Lilly Dramkean get involved in shady legalities? Or Larramore take a night off on the date when the murders took place? And how come no one can ever keep track of socialite Mary Tobias, "One of those dames from Who's Who who don't know what's what," Harry says. Throw in an Indian, a Swedish gardener and a disgruntled nurse and the confusion multiplies. This lightning-paced comedy/mystery comes complete with its own lightning as a storm blows out all the fuses...and the murders keep coming! In this spoof on the old-style private-eye movies, the laughs are fast and furious... and the ending will simply kill you!"  (Licensed through Dramatic Publishing www.dramaticpublishing.com)

This play was followed by the chance to take over for the Lion's Club and run the Haunted House in a old residence downtown for Halloween.  We had fun dressing up as horror characters and earned some money for several years doing this.

 March, 1992:  The Phantom of the Opera by Gene Traylor (non-musical version)

The spring found the Drama Club venturing into a more serious play with this non musical version of the famous story by Gaston Leroux.  We gained several more long standing actors and techies during this show, which included blank gun shots, fake blood and a very sweaty, masked Phantom!  When the smaller blank pistol broke, we borrowed the track team's 357 starting pistol--and along with the flash that came from the barrel, we almost made the entire front row jump out of their seats!  Hmmmm...

"In this great tongue-in-cheek comedy/thriller, The Phantom of the Opera returns, guaranteed to terrify and delight even the boldest member of your audience. This adaptation of the classic remains quite faithful to the original text, in which a series of bizarre murders plagues the Paris Opera House. In the midst of frantic attempts to prepare for the gala opening of a brilliant, ambitious new work, the frightened protagonists must prevent the evil phantom from striking again. Will the beautiful and talented Christine be spared a horrible murder at the hands of the elusive phantom? Will her handsome fiance discover his hiding place before it's too late? Enjoy this show and see for yourself if you dare!"  (licensed through Dramatic Publishing (www.dramaticpublishing.com))

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1992-1993

 Fall, 1992:  Bone Chiller by Monk Ferris

With a growing group and a continuing like for murder mysteries, we performed this convoluted rebus filled murder mystery that featured one of our normally demure female actresses ending the show by "shooting" the audience because they knew too much!  

"Thirteen people gather on Friday the 13th at the Travers mansion in New York for the reading of Josiah's will, which is a wall chart rendered in the form of a rebus (a part word, part drawing puzzle) that almost defies solution. Instead of designating an heir, it offers the estate to anyone who can solve the will! The lights keep going out and people keep getting murdered. The audience will have a ball trying to untangle the puzzle faster than the hapless characters. By the final act, revelations are exploding as surprise piles upon surprise."  (licensed through Samuel French www.samuelfrench.com)

 Spring, 1993: You Can't Take it With You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman


For our next play, we finally were big enough to perform a play that Mrs. Brant had done in college, where she did the set design and played a Russian Grand Duchess.  

"At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. The plot shows how Tony, attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by the Kirbys, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores, however, though sympathetic to Alice, find it hard to realize her point of view. Meantime, Tony, who knows the Sycamores are right and his own people wrong, will not give her up, and in the end Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores, particularly since he happens in during a visit by an ex-Grand Duchess, earning her living as a waitress. No mention has as yet been made of the strange activities of certain members of the household engaged in the manufacture of fireworks; nor of the printing press set up in the parlor; nor of Rheba the maid and her friend Donald; nor of Grandpa's interview with the tax collector when he tells him he doesn't believe in the income tax."  (licensed through Dramatist's Play Service www.dramatists.com)

We also attended a drama festival in Spokane called INTAF.

 

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1993-1994:  A Year of Change

 With a larger, more established group, we were able to look at ways to formalize our group.  A strong leadership group chose the name Z Center Stage Theater Company as their first step!   Auditions got tougher and we grew with more dedicated actors and techies!  We also purchased some sound and light equipment, adding to what we could do.  

Fall, 1993: Happily Ever Once Upon by Virginia Kidd

The first play of the year was a spoof on about every fairy tale you can think of, including Cinderella, Prince Charming and a royal advisor with a swan's wing. 

"After twenty years of marriage, Cinderella and Prince Charming have some problems: the Enchanted Kingdom teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. Cinderella's fairy godmother is blackmailing her, the Prince's adviser has one arm and one swan's wing and an unfortunate habit of breaking everything he encounters, and Red Riding Hood has set her cap for the Prince. Though hoping Rumplestilskin can spin gold from straw, the Prince fears he may have to make the Enchanted Kingdom a tourist attraction. Cinderella resolves their difficulties by confronting her godmother and opening the Kingdom to writers who promise them royalties from their stories."  (licensed by Samuel French www.samuelfrench.com)

Spring, 1994: Les Miserables (non musical) by Tim Kelly

Mostly because Mrs. Brant saw the big name musical and loved it and because we hadn't really done any musicals yet, we did this non musical version of the classic tale.

"Les Misérables, one of the world's greatest literary classics, sold out its first edition the day it went on sale in 1862. Since then, it has never been out of print. It has been filmed countless times and is currently the subject of a smash-hit international pop opera. Our gripping new version has been designed for very simple production (basically a few tables, chairs, and a bench). Under two hours in length, it is the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his relentless pursuit by "law and order" police inspector Javert. Filled with fascinating vignettes of 19th-century France, the script boasts a brilliant cast of characters who weave an exciting tapestry of humankind at its best and worst. Special emphasis has been placed on the many small roles and female characters—the tragic Fantine and her daughter Cosette, the wretched Madame Thenardier, the lovelorn Eponine—among others."  (licensed by Dramatic Publishing www.dramaticpublishing.com)

 

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