Article and Photos by Tom Ganser
Best way to fight an early bout with Spring Fever?
How about taking in a performance of Whitewater Middle School’s production of “Guys and Dolls, Jr.” on Apr. 11 and 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Whitewater High School Auditorium? It’s the perfect way to kick off the first month of spring.
General admission tickets are available at the WHS box office beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Apr. 11 show is a “pay what you can” night, with suggested donations of $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. Tickets for the Apr. 12 performance are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. Children five and under are free.
Set in New York City, “Guys and Dolls, Jr.” follows gambler, Nathan Detroit, as he tries to find the cash to set up the biggest crap game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for fourteen years without ever getting married. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown. “Guys and Dolls, Jr.” takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, but everyone eventually ends up right where they belong.
The production is directed by Liz Elliot, with the help of assistant directors, Calla Craze and Alyssa Orlowski; choreographer Lynn Lema; set and lighting designer Jim McCulloch; and sound designer Tony Hansen.
The cast of 49 includes Lilly Altreuter, Wyatt Anderson, Tyler Arnett, Brooke Bazeley, Katelyn Block, Keith Cameron, Caelyn Caputo, Afton Clapper, Caleb Clapper, Ayden Clark, Emma Clarksen, Alejandra Diaz, Molly Donner, Rose Fosda, Adalynn Frye, Henry Gehrenbeck, Sierra Gonzales, Alex Jones, Josh Kirley, Megan Kleeberger, Mikeala Klumb, Ilana Lothes, Alex Martin, Ben McCulloch, Myles Morse, Leah Newmann, Ava Nygren, Emily O’Donnell, Betzy Palomec, Chloe Prince, Meg Roselle, Amber Rossmiller, Lucas Scherer, Cole Schlicher, Jayden Sontag, Athena Soto, Skylar Staebler, Alex Sullivan, Claire Tourdot, Evie Troxel, Maria Verduzco, Willow Vogelzang, Anderson Waelchli, Emma Weigel, Marco Wence, Cosette Wildermuth, Morgan Zingsheim, Kelsy Zingsheim, and Xavier Zei.
WHS students putting their theatrical experience to work in this production include Audrey Mayer, Stephanie Ordaz, Emma Van Daele, Aldro Rodriguez, Carter Waelchli, and Sophie Walton.
The talented stage crew includes Ghati Binagi, Payton Bunger, Izzy Dieter, Emerson Dunham, Monica Juette, Abby Olson, Emily Schmidt, Heidi Sherman, and Isaac Straight.
Kat Dunham, a paraeducator serving the students of WUSD, often works behind the scenes – and far below the radar – in creating sets for the district’s annual theatrical productions – two for the high school, one for the middle school, and one for students from grade 6 to graduating seniors.
“In theatre, everyone sets aside their differences and works together toward a common goal of a quality show,” Kat commented. “You learn teamwork, acceptance, responsibility, reliability, and have a great time doing it. You become a solid team because if you don’t, the show fails. When it succeeds, you get to be a part of something much bigger than yourself. That’s an amazing feeling that can’t be matched by anything else.”