Drama club gives `Jack and the Beanstalk' a twist


November 09, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"JACK AND THE Beanstalk" is a children's story most people are familiar with, but when the Drama Club at Liberty High School performs this weekend, there will be a new twist to this old tale.

Directed by senior Ashleigh Vittetoe, this musical adaptation features a cast of 20 in a fast-paced mix of familiar and unexpected characters.

"My goal was to make my cast have fun, and if they project that during their performance, then the audience will really enjoy this play," Ashleigh said.

Kyle Mitchell, a junior, is assistant director of the play and also portrays a hillbilly character named Billy Bob. Kyle Thompson and Brittany Galisdorfer are his sidekicks Billy Joe and Billy Sue.

Caitlyn James, Suzanne Kalwa and Ryan Holmes are Jack and his parents. Greg Skipper and Jackie Nevin can be found in the giant's home.

Characters from other children's stories who are blended into this adaptation are portrayed by Andy Aitkin, Jennie Beck, Joshua Beck, Justin Fahey, Betsy Hansen, Becky Mann, Doug Mason, Megan Pierce, Lauren Swiston, Tiffany Wildy, Kristen Williamson and Honey Wirth. Erica Westover will provide the piano accompaniment.

Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $4 at the door.

Information: 410-751-3560.

School spirit

School pride can be important factors in building a strong community spirit among students and teachers. Such spirit seemed at an all-time high last week as Oklahoma Road Middle School prepared for its second annual Intramural Wrestling Meet.

"Everybody's pretty pumped up here today," said head coach Sean Ward, who also serves as the school's crisis intervention assistant. "The whole school is excited about this event.

"I think wrestling is a great sport for kids," said Ward. "I have 32 really great kids. I'm especially excited about this group of sixth-graders."

Ward, a 1996 graduate of Francis Scott Key High School, was an avid wrestler throughout his high school years. "Wrestling is a passion for me," he said.

The 32 wrestlers spent the past eight weeks practicing three days a week for the meet, which featured two "teams" -- one coached by Ward and the other by social studies teacher Leroy Schuerholz.

Liberty High wrestlers Mike Pickett, Richard Skully, Jeff Hildebrand, Brian Roos, Kevin Korzie and Mike Haran also helped prepare the wrestlers.

Several hundred spectators crowded the gym to watch and root for their favorite wrestler wearing purple or black. Oklahoma Road pupil Jennifer Mason organized a group of cheerleaders to cheer and entertain with dance routines before and during the contest.

The girls also made sure the gym was decorated with streamers, balloons and posters. Tiara Collins sang the national anthem.

Each match was more exciting than the next, with the black team victorious. "We'll definitely keep this going with this kind of interest and excitement," said Ward. "My goal is to help build a strong feeder program for Liberty, and I think we can do that."

Writer visits Linton Springs

Children's author and illustrator Kevin O'Malley made his way to Linton Springs Elementary School last week and made a lot of new fans in the process.

O'Malley spent the day with pupils in grades one through five as he taught them a little about himself and a great deal about the process of creating and writing a story.

He used sleight of hand to demonstrate diversion and then discuss how to create diversion in a story. He repeated the trick several times before the youngsters caught on.

"The secret to the trick is the diversion," said O'Malley. "I do the same thing when I draw pictures."

First-graders helped the author create a modern-day version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" with a handful of magic nuts and bolts that grew into a huge office building wherein dwelt a "corporate giant."

The kids wanted the giant to die at the end of the story, but O'Malley laughingly explained that their parents would not purchase a book with such an ending, so the giant must be rehabilitated to become a productive member of society.

During his talk with each grade, O'Malley drew portions of the stories they created together. The drawings were donated to the school and might be used in a fund-raiser.

Heather Rice, a fourth-grader at Linton Springs, is a fan of O'Malley's book "Velcome," which she describes as a book of "scary stories." Heather also enjoyed O'Malley's antics during his visit. "He was funny," she said.

Pupils at the school were able to order copies of the author's books. O'Malley brought more than 100 books with him and had personalized each with the pupil's name, an original drawing and his signature.

The author's visit was sponsored by the school's PTA.

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