Royalton to present ‘first-ever’ middle school play

Royalton middle school students who make up the cast of the school’s “first-ever” middle school play include front row (from left):  Megan Moga, Courtney Lemmerman, Mara Conrad, Ali Przybilla, Taylor Hill, Lanae Sieben and Laura Huls. Second row: Ayla Madsen and Emily Ferguson. Back row: Jenna Carlson, Cassidy Hall, Ali Moga, Molly Presler, Alex Storkamp, Jessica Ring, Alosha Chieppa and Emily Maday.

Royalton middle school students who make up the cast of the school’s “first-ever” middle school play include front row (from left): Megan Moga, Courtney Lemmerman, Mara Conrad, Ali Przybilla, Taylor Hill, Lanae Sieben and Laura Huls. Second row: Ayla Madsen and Emily Ferguson. Back row: Jenna Carlson, Cassidy Hall, Ali Moga, Molly Presler, Alex Storkamp, Jessica Ring, Alosha Chieppa and Emily Maday.

This is the first year Royalton Schools has had a middle school. As such, the middle school students will present the “first-ever” Royalton Middle School play.

Students will present, “The Ransom of Miss Elverna Dower” by Laurie Bryant Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. in the Royalton High School and Middle School gym, and again Sunday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

The premise of the award-winning comedic tale is based on O. Henry’s classic story. Casey and Tonya nab their demanding English teacher to avoid having to take a test, but realize no one wants the teacher back.

The young kidnappers find that the teacher not only corrects their grammar in class, but also the grammar in their ransom note and makes them rewrite it. The teacher then assigns the girls a research paper on famous kidnappings in history, ensuring they have more schoolwork than they did before.

Leading the students through practice and production is Royalton High School adviser and play director Sheri Menden, assisted by former Royalton High School student Tyler Makela.

Menden said she entered the play with a bit of trepidation because she is used to working with high school students.

“But the (middle school) students have been wonderful,” she said. “Lanae (Sieben), Molly (Presler) and Ali (Przybilla) have taken the lead roles and put a great deal of gusto into their performances.”

Menden noted middle school students have a great deal of energy. “But they have all been very responsive to understanding the need to be attentive to their entrances and exits,” she said.

The area needing the most work is the voice projection, she said. “For some reason these younger students have smaller voices than senior high students, but we are learning to project.”

Menden noted that as students, all the young actors love the story line.

“I think they can relate to having a teacher they would just love to kidnap for the day, so they are really having fun with the production,” she said.

The play is open to the public. Tickets are available at the door.

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