Calamity Jane, that’s J-A-N-E, but the E is silent; true hero, Sheriff Wayne John; and Schizophrenic Kid, who changes back and forth from a white hat to a black hat, are just a few of the characters who will appear in the Lewis Cass auditorium this weekend.
Lewis Cass drama department is presenting “How the West was Dun,” a play its director calls a hilarious melodrama that spoofs Hollywood Westerns.
“There are the good guys and the bad guys of course,” said director Barbara Burch. “There will be heroes, villains and Indianians.”
The play will feature a group of villains attempting to take over Low Humidity Chasm as Sheriff Wayne John has his hands full with not-too-bright Deputy Doowrong. The performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School auditorium.
The 26 cast members have been rehearsing the play since Jan, Burch said. Burch, who graduated from Lewis Cass, has been drama department director for two years.
Burch said there are 10 seniors in the spring play, including one who has never been in a high school play before.
“It takes a lot of hours,” Burch said. “I get to be the momma duck and talk about putting all my little ducks in a row. The students have each other’s back and are supportive of one another.”
Senior Darci Simmons is portraying Calamity Jane. Simmons, who has helped backstage and been in one other play, said her character likes to do some bank robbing.
“My favorite part of being involved in a play is the friendships you make,” Simmons said. “It also allows you to learn to be more comfortable with speaking.”
Another senior performing in the play is A.J. Turrill, who is playing Sheriff Wayne John. Turrill said his character was described to him as the hero who is the only one that’s not oblivious to what is happening.
“He’s the good guy with no vices who wants justice,” Turrill said.
Turrill, who has been in five plays at the high school, said the play is by far the funniest they have done.
Burch agreed with Turrill, saying it was going to be a light evening with audience participation.
“People should come see the play and enjoy the off-the-wall characters,” Burch said. “The play has ridiculous and entertaining humor.”
Amie Sites is community news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5150.