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Paynesville Press - Nov. 13, 2002

Middle school thespians to present mysterious spoof

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Cast of It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Students from the Paynesville Area Middle School will present the comedy, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," on Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16.

The play's cast includes: front row: Dawson (Peder Thompson), Mary (Bryna Hendrickson), and Belle (Kelsey Reinke); second row; Uncle Silas (Ezra Thompson), Hepzibah (Jayna Flanders), Arabella (Karla Leitzman), Ebenezer (Ted Hoffman), and Snell (Zach Schwandt); third row; Ed (Dugan Flanders), Dorothy (Kaitlin Burlingame), Olive (Tarin Beireis), and Jane (Natasha Fangmeier); on stairs; Euphemia (Heather Veldkamp) and Sal (Ariel Jones). Performances will be held on Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16, at the high school auditorium.

The two-act play is a spoof on stage and film performances from the 1920s and 1930s, said director Ken Vork. It has murder, mayhem, and even unrequited love.

The award-winning play - written by Tim Kelly - is a tale of an eccentric family in a New England boarding house. It takes place in Ye Olde Wayside Inn and features the Saltmarsh family: Hepzibah (Jayna Flanders), Arabella (Karla Leitzman), Ebenezer (Ted Hoffman), and Uncle Silas (Ezra Thompson), the oldest maniac in Massachusetts.

Vork, who is also the school district's band director, has directed plays throughout his 17 years in the district. He chose this particular play because he thought it would be fun for the middle schoolers to do.

Vork has spent the last eight weeks working with the play's young cast, many of them sixth graders, including Flanders and Leitzman, who play the eccentric sisters who run Ye Olde Wayside Inn.

"There's always a core group of kids that are involved in drama," Vork said. "The core group of girls that I've had for the past couple of years moved on to the high school, and a new group is coming up."

The show will be presented in the auditorium at the Paynesville Area High School on Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16. It begins at 8 p.m. each night. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children.

The Saltmarsh family Cast of Characters
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Hepzibah: Jayna Flanders
Arabella: Karla Leitzman
Ebenezer: Ted Hoffman
Olive: Tarin Beireis
Jane: Tasha Fangmeier
Mary: Bryna Hendrickson
Snell: Zach Schwandt
Ed: Dugan Flanders
Dorothy: Kaitlin Burlingame
Belle: Kelsey Reinke
Dawson: Peder Thompson
Sal: Ariel Jones
Silas: Ezra Thompson
Euphemia: Heather Veldkamp
Director: Ken Vork

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