Westminster High School play features adventure, comedy


March 03, 1997|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHAT HAPPENS when the richest kid in town is kidnapped by a backward band of desperadoes, and no one wants to pay the ransom to get the rotten kid back?

The answer may surprise you, but you won't hear it from me.

You'll have to see the play, "The Ransom of Emily Jane," which opens at 7 p.m. Friday at Westminster High School. Other performances will be at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

"This is my first year to do this," said Thea Thomas, the director and an English teacher at Westminster High.

Thomas said she has had a great time with the students and the play.

"They are just wonderful and so funny. A lot of the time they just come up with things, and I let them go with it," she said.

Senior Ben Berchock plays Emily's father. Although he has been in four Westminster productions, playing an ordinary middle-age man has been a challenge, he said.

"Sometimes it is harder to play someone normal," he said.

Sophomore Tiffany Hepding plays the part of Emily Jane.

"She's an obnoxious brat," Tiffany said of her character. "It takes a lot of energy [to play her]. You're all over the place."

Zealous Emily, ignited by her imagination, becomes an Indian chief who scalps kidnapper Sonny Griggs and tries to set him on fire.

When asked how she learned to act so convincingly young, and what inspired her to play the part, Tiffany said, "I just watched the kids I baby-sit, then expounded on it."

For sophomore Morgan Kerr, who plays Emily's governess, Miss Pruett, falling in love with Sonny Griggs, played by Scott Deans, on stage was easy.

"He's been my boyfriend for a year," she said of sophomore Scott.

"It was easy getting into my part. At first Miss Pruett is stuffy and then she finds out she is having more fun than she thought she would ," she said.

"I like Sonny," Scott said of his part. "He's a lowdown, stupid guy with a Southern accent, who means well. Me and Sonny are a lot alike," he added with a grin.

Blaine Lewandowski, who plays Ma Griggs, said the Southern accent was fun.

"I work at Domino's and I was practicing my accent all the time. They stopped letting me answer the phones," she said.

The play is not the only entertainment the crew has in store. Four monologues, delivered by Jason Krznarich, Ericka Miller, Kristina Higgs and Stephanie Walsh, will keep the audience laughing.

Thomas said she has been blessed with a group of involved and talented students.

"I think everyone will find something they like about this production," she said. "The kids are so good at what they do."

Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. and cost $3 for adults and $2 for children age 12 and younger.

Winter carnival success

Westminster's Winter Carnival, held Feb. 21 and 22, was a huge success, according to Lisa Myers, carnival chairwoman from Westminster Jaycees, and Ron Schroers, who works for Westminster City Department of Parks and Recreation.

"For our first year we had a great turnout," Myers said. "It threatened to rain some on and off, but we still had a good crowd. We plan to do this again, make it an annual event."

Myers and Schroers want to thank all who turned out and those who donated time for the event. Money raised will be used toward Dutterers Park, a proposed 6-acre park in Westminster.

Pub Date: 3/03/97

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