SLHS' 'Elephant Man' opens Thursday night

Cast members for Spring Lake High School's production of "The Elephant Man' spent 24 hours in wheelchairs in October, so they could get a better understanding of what it is like to be different.
Becky Vargo
Nov 9, 2011

 

Now they hope to share some of what they have learned with people attending the school drama production set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Spring Lake High School Auditorium.

“You will see some remarkable performances from the student body, including that of Thomas Kramer’s John Merrick — the most physically demanding role a high school student could have,” SLHS Theater Director Dave Theune said. “It’s a story that must be continually shared, as we need constant reminders to love the soul of a person. As a cast and crew, we’ve been driven by this quote from Merrick: ‘People are frightened by what they don’t understand.’ Our play is intended to give some understanding.”

“The Elephant Man” by Bernard Pomerance is based on a true story of Joseph Merrick (Pomerance changed his name to John) and teaches the importance of acceptance. Merrick was an extremely deformed man who spent his whole life being judged by ridiculing crowds until he met a man, Dr. Treves, who changed his life. In turn, Treves became a new man and everyone who got to know Merrick came away with a greater understanding of humanity.

Theune said about 50 students are involved in the show, including technical crew and cast. Many returning actors and actresses are on the stage.

Eight seniors are acting in the play. Thomas Kramer is John Merrick, while Rebecca Hochhuth plays the loving Mrs. Kendal. Kayli Horne plays hospital administrator Carr Gomm and Amber Moody as the terrified Nurse Sandwich. Seniors Audra Lucas and Anna Martin pair as two of the three Pinheads. Keith Allison is both Lord John and a freak show manager in Brussels. Senior Micheal Hartliep debuts as Bishop How. Max Flagler, a sophomore, plays one of the lead roles as Dr. Treves. Junior Hadlee Garrison is found as the third Pinhead, while sophomores Katie Sinn and Sabrina Hochhuth play dual roles. Freshmen Riley Warmoth and Lynnae Strait make their SLHS stage debuts.

Junior Haylee Coon is the stage manager, while juniors Dale Jackson and Libby Reeg are assistant stage managers.

Seniors Addison and Nick Newell return to the control booth for their last fall play. Theune said they have been involved in every theater production since they started high school.

Tickets are $7 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens and are on sale through the high school office. They will also be available at the door. All seats are general admission.

Theune said some parental discretion is advised for particularly young audience members.

 

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