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The Elmhurst Spring Musical will be the award winning Rogers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. Production dates are Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 with a 7:30pm curtain time and April 24, with a 2:00pm curtain time. Tickets are $8 and will be on sale starting Monday, April 11. This wonderful musical will be presented in the Elmhurst High School auditorium.

Directed by the Drama and Speech Coach for Elmhurst, Maggie Kole Hunter is delighted to be back at Elmhurst and is very excited about this spring’s musical. Musical direction is under the auspices of Brett Adams and guest artist, Greg Vey. Elmhurst’s talented Don Goss is the set designer. Mr. Goss has been designing sets for Elmhurst for many years. Mrs. Hunter’s assistant director and stage manager is Brent Bruin. Mr. Bruin has been the stage manager for the Fort Wayne Ballet for the past two years. The King and I is more a play with music than a conventional musical comedy. The songs are an integral part of the book and flow naturally from it. And the story itself is a fascinating one. Based on the diaries of Margaret Landon, it tells of how English widow, Anna Leonowens, travels to Bangkok in the 1860s at the request of the Siamese King Mongut to educate his children and his court in modern “scientific” ideas. Anna and the King are the classic irresistible force and immovable object, respectively, and their progression from misunderstanding to mutual admiration and even affection is the mainspring of the plot. A tragic subplot involves a Burmese princess Tuptim and a Burmese artist Lun Tha. There is a beautiful ballet piece based on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The choreography is done by the very talented, Christopher Rasor. Mr. Rasor is the choreographer for the award winning Northrup showchoir, Charisma.

The cast for The King and I is wonderful! Seniors Aaron Mann and Allie Townsend play the King and Anna. Other seniors in the production are: Lauren Zuber, Cristina Herrera, Racheal Schnitz, Corey Kump, and Kari Chapel. Juniors: Katie Roberts, Jack Schnellenberger, Rene Rogers and Jason Johnston. Sophomores: Amanda Walchle and Nathan Driscoll. Freshmen: Peter Schnellenberger, Lauren Marlow, Aubrey Johnson, Kimberly Snyder, Devaney Van Durmen and Nathan Krueckeberg. One of Elmhurst’s teachers, Mr. Dennis Fisher plays Sir Edward Ramsey in the play. Sir Edward is an English diplomat who comes to Siam at the request of the Queen of England.

This production not only involves our Elmhurst students but also includes the talents of the surrounding elementary and middle schools that feed into Elmhurst High School. Students from Lindley, Indian Village, Harris Elementary Schools and Portage Middle School are all represented. Representing Lindley: Britany Derrow, Taylor Gonzales, Marisol and Xochitl Arelleno. From Indian Village: Shawnna Smith. From Harris: Nicholas and Shelby Wright. Homeschooled: Morgan, Darby, Tatum and Katty Ellis. From Portage: Brandon Meuchel and Zach Hibbert. All of these students are incredibly talented and have worked very hard to make The King and I a success.

Because the drama department is totally self-sufficient, we receive no monetary funding. We pay all of our bills and expenses through fund raising and ticket sales.

We have an “Adopt-A-Thespian” program for any person or business who is interested in helping out the drama department. For $25 you receive two premium-seating tickets to the play, your name printed in the program and a special King and I memento – two crown handmade chocolates and a cast photo in a unique souvenir folder. You can also support the drama department by taking out a “Proud of You” advertisement. For $15 your personalized ad is placed in a special section of our program. Not only does the student see it but everyone else as well. It’s a special way to recognize students or friends. Deadline for the “Adopt-A-Thespian” and “Proud of You” ad is April 7th!

We are also looking for professional business sponsorships and advertisers. Part of the perk of being a business sponsor is: a special preview performance of The King and I on April 21st with your business associates, guests and family, your logo on all of our printed advertising materials, front or back page full ad in our printed program and a fabulous catered dessert reception! Or if you just want to take out a page of advertising, we can help you. If you are interested, please contact Mrs. Hunter for details at 432-1513.

The King and I is a huge undertaking for Elmhurst but the students are up to the challenge. Be on the lookout for more about this fabulous production along with pictures of the making of The King and I.

The Waynedale News Staff
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