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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's a matter of trust when it comes to sailors

By Charlotte Huntley/Contributor

Terry Mayer/The Week
Cast of the Big Foot play "Never Trust a Tattooed Sailor" rehearse a scene. (L-R) Jamie Finch, Lisa Rubo, Anne Rasmussen, Eli Schuldt, Garret Volpendesta, Allyson Van de Bogert, Hannah Borek and Kelsey Stedman.
From the gold rush days of California comes a melodrama taken from the life of the real Jack Swan, "an English sailor who settled in Monterey in 1843."

Seems the sailors ashore at Monterey, Calif., collaborated with townspeople to perform in plays to stave off boredom, and Jack Swan offered his tavern as a playhouse. He furnished it with "a stage, rough benches, candles, lamps and curtains made of red and blue blankets."

"Never Trust a Tattooed Sailor" by Tim Kelly will be performed by the Big Foot Acting Company at the Big Foot High School on Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15.

"Never Trust a Tattooed Sailor" is the story of villain Montague Leech (Garrett Volpendesta) and his trampy cohort, Carlotta Castanet De San Diego (Roberta Blizard), who try to orchestrate a slick scheme to get Sourdough's Slop Bucket after Sourdough Birthright (Mike Palcic), the owner, meets his grisly fate.

The problem is that Bertha Birthright (Hannah Borek) is the rightful heir, so she must be eliminated. Jack Swan (Eli Schuldt) comes on the scene with a love for Bertha and a plan to protect her.

Throw in "soldiers, widows, society matrons, temperance crusaders, cowboys, mysterious figures, crusty sea captains, a pirate, a Chinese servant, various townspeople, prospectors, a parrot, rum and a tattooed sailor," and you have a recipe for a plot that twists and turns, with lines that jab and joke.

The play is directed by senior Tessa August, who said, "Mr. Brower is our actual director, but he does more set work and he kind of lets me do my own thing."

Her experience is in acting and musicals, as well as set work. "This year I thought I'd try something else since I'm going to college next year and want to do a lot of theater.

"It's been really good. The kids have been really great; anything I tell them they pretty much do. No one's really argued with anything. I've never had to really yell at them. There's a couple of kids who have really impressed me," August said. "Eli Schuldt, who plays Jack, you'll probably see that kid's name in lights some day because he's just so talented. He's been an honor to work with.

"There's also a couple of kids who surprised me," August said. "Justin Swaney is probably the most surprised talent I've seen. He really came out of nowhere; he's a freshman this year and he has really impressed me."

She also mentioned Garret Volpendesta, a senior, who already had a reputation as a good actor. "He's done really well. I've been friends with him for a long time; it's really fun to work with him."

Other players and their characters are: Lisa Rubo as Mother McGoof; Michael Rasmussen as Captain Bermuda; Derek Peterson as Rawhide; Jamie Finch as Billy; Allyson Van de Bogert as Tai Pan; Maggie Lauterbach as Mary Fairweather; Kelsey Stedman as Augusta Van Gush; Justin Swaney as Lt. Lorne Order; Anne Rasmussen as Suspicious Female; Matt Waro as the Preacher; and Molly Gauger, Sara Lewis and Gabi Radkidzich play townspeople who also sing between scenes songs like, "What Would You Do with a Drunken Sailor?"

The stage crew, set construction and props are the responsibility of the students. Big Foot English instructor Jeff Brower said, "The students do everything."

Many students not only perform, but also help with the work backstage.

Besides August, the student crew includes stage director and costumer, Casi O'Dierno; lighting, Joe Malone; set supervisor, Sarah Schauf; and makeup director, Hannah Hubertz.

The set construction and prop crew are: Nathan Lewis, James Ross, Matt Dixon, Mike Palcic, Mike Rasmussen, Justin Swaney, Jamie Finch, Molly Gauger, Gabi Rakidzich, Sara Lewis, Joe Malone and Eli Schuldt.

"Never Trust a Tattooed Sailor" by Tim Kelly will be performed by the Big Foot Acting Company at the Big Foot High School on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $3 for students and senior citizens and $5 for adults.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this is the same Mr.Brower I had as a teacher. I am from the class of 94 & he is the teacher I most admired. In forensics, for example, he helped our "Robin Hood" performance to be a great success. Thank you Mr. Brower!!!!

March 19, 2008 12:58 AM  

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