Sorting out nerves, lines

Schools' production of 'Hansel and Gretel' this weekend


Everyone hopes that Taylor Munden's dream -- or nightmare -- does not become reality.

"I was up there in front of all the people, I said a couple lines and then froze," said Taylor, a fourth-grader, while practicing for her role as Gretel in this weekend's all-schools production of "Hansel and Gretel."

Taylor said she has a few lines to nail down before taking the stage for the Friday and Saturday night performances in the Hayden High School auditorium.

Her mother, Cassie Reedy, has been to all of the play's rehearsals and can't help but be a little nervous for her daughter as she struggles with her lines and stars in her first play.

"She's pretty nervous, but she'll do good," Reedy said.

Like all the other students participating in the production, Taylor had to sign a contract agreeing she was responsible for learning her lines.

"It helps me if I move around and do actions to it," she said.

Nightmares of forgetting lines aside, Taylor said she is having fun and looking forward to performing for her family. She is especially looking forward to pushing the witch into the oven in the final act.

With a cast of 35 students, a set-building crew of 10 to 15 children, a production staff of 12 and numerous adult volunteers, "Hansel and Gretel" represents the third year Kathy Deepe has directed a Class Act Productions play.

"I've always done plays in the classroom, and that's kind of where my inspiration started," said Deepe, who is a second- and third-grade teacher at Hayden Valley Elementary School.

Her enthusiasm and energy surpass those of almost everyone else in the room as she handles all the details and prepares the young actors. Questions about the number of gingerbread cookies needed for intermission and the location of microphones are just some of the details that fall on Deepe.

There are a few kinks to work out before the performance this weekend, Deepe said. Some of the students -- who range in grades three to 11th -- have some lines to remember, and a few need to get used to the bright spotlight.

"I can see the nerves kicking in for some of the kids," Deepe said. "They're starting to realize it."

A scene during the first act, in which Hansel and Gretel fall asleep, turned into a real nap Tuesday for third-grader Dylan Rice, who co-stars as Hansel. Deepe laughed as Rice got back into character and delivered his lines.

"There is a part for everyone," Deepe said. "And if they don't want a speaking part, they can be on the set crew."

Getting enough students to audition in front of four judges was not difficult, she said, and she never turns a student away.

"That's why I created so many parts, because we got so many kids," Deepe said.

-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4204

or e-mail


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