High school students ‘excited’ to stage ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

Sean C. Morgan

Sweet Home High School will present “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” this week.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the high school auditorium. The cost is $2 for students and seniors, $3 for adults and $9 for families.

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is an adaptation of the first book of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” by C.S. Lewis. The 1950 book was adapted into a major motion picture in 2005.

“The kids actually came up with this play,” said Director Alain Brown, a social studies teacher. “They talked about it. I started looking at scripts. I thought, ‘It’s a good play.’”

The work has big-name recognition, he said, and they hoped it might draw the community to the performances this week. They also added a third performance this year.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Joshua Pickett, who is playing Mr. Tumnus, the faun. “I’ve liked the movie, and I thought it would be cool to be Mr. Tumnus. With the cast we have, it seems like it’ll be a great production.”

Cody Cannon, who plays Mr. Beaver, is one of 10 seniors in the cast.

“It’s nice to go off with a big bang in our play,” he said.

Brown noted that many of the seniors have been with him since “MASH” and through “Carson’s Corner” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

“They’re real happy,” Brown said. “This is kind of their swan song.”

At the same time, he has some freshmen who are just getting to know theater, he said.

Students said they also appreciate the lesson the story gives.

“The story is a different take on the biblical story,” Pickett said. What if there’s a different planet God had to run?”

The story is also an allegory for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Late last week, the cast was busy putting everything together, rehearsing and building sets and props, Brown said. Cast members are familiar with the story and their lines.

“The kids at this point, they’re pretty good with their lines,” he said. “They’ve got a few things to work on.”

“Line memorization is better than last year,” Cannon said.

Shelby Wymetalek is assistant director, Brown said, and she’s been doing all kinds of work, coordinating props and sets and directing cast members.

Parent Heather Swanson designed and created costumes, and Brian Swanson built major set pieces, including the lamppost and wardrobe, Brown said. They also worked on last year’s play.

The cast includes Amy Frentz, Zach Wicker, David Skeen, Haley Swanson, Sierrah Owen, Teira Moore, Ole Olsen, Julie Morgan, Emily Willes, Kyle Moore-McKay, Cody Cannon, Candalynn Johnson, Joshua Pickett, Dylan Eddings, Jeff Bennett, Kristen Peterson, Eddy McCartin, Zane Jackson, Robin Hastings, Kara Clement, Megan Oberg, Alexis Johnson, Edward Porria, Sarcon Major, Brianna Thorpe, Katie LeBret and Hunter Olheiser.

“I had about 35 kids audition,” Brown said. “And we did try to put as many in roles as we could find.”