By Lorrie Ham
The Mound Westonka High School Theatre Department is proud to present “Egad, The Woman in White,” a melodrama by Tim Kelly, March 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m.
“This year we decided to tackle a genre we haven’t explored in quite some time – a melodrama,” said assistant director Meagan Lenz. “We hope that our audiences come prepared to laugh at our larger-than-life characters, boo at the villains and cheer for the heroes!”
This laugh-oriented, old-fashioned melodrama is based on Wilkie Collins’ classic novel, and it is wild, fast and funny, according to a synopsis from the Samuel French website. It features a disreputable (and hilarious) villain who dispatches his adversaries with nefarious ease, seals his wife in a madhouse to steal her vast fortune and battles a wicked countess in one of the most uproarious fight scenes ever staged.
When all else fails, the villain engineers mock funerals. But he’s scared of the mysterious “Woman in White” who’s escaped from the asylum to seek him out. Abandoned wives, insolent servants, lawyers, hypochondriacs and manly drawing masters parade across the stage in gales of comedy, terminating only when the villain is brought to justice in an audience-cheering, outrageous and spectacular finale.
This will be the last large high school production staged in the MWHS Little Theater before the new Westonka Performing Arts Center opens in the fall. Lenz said, “We are very excited to be producing our FINAL spring play in our little space!”
Cast members include senior Piper Bruce as Marian; juniors Joey Colianni Jr. as Sir Percival Glyde, Nick Drilling as Mr. Peach, Emma Jordahl as Dora and Tia Meyer as Countess Fosco, and sophomores Conner Jones as Walter Hartright and Grace Prchal as Laura.
Also taking the stage will be ninth-graders Josh Nkhata as Lawyer Gilmore, Jayna Sherman as Mrs. Catherick and John Wombacher as Frederick Fairlee, and eighth-grader Lindsey Gunderson as The Woman in White.
Olio performers include junior Bozhena Burdo; ninth-graders Merrick Gormley, Kate Moch and Jake Robertson, and eighth-grader Isabelle Reese.
“We are excited to share our final show with our senior cast member Piper Bruce,” said Lenz. Piper is no stranger to the MWHS stage, as this will be her 10th and final production. She has been a member of the cast of every fall musical and spring play since her eighth-grade year.
“It has been a privilege to watch her grow up on the stage over the past five years,” added Lenz.
“Egad, the Woman in White” is directed by Steven Meerdink with Lenz as assistant director and Jamie Harms as the costumer.
Tickets, $10 for adults and $8 for students, will be on sale beginning Thursday, March 1, both in the MWHS Activities Office during school hours and online. The theater department is piloting a new online ticketing platform that promises to be easy to use for both patrons and the department. Tickets can be purchased at https://red.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=2588f0f7dc3024fb1c5518db65296f79&t=tix
“We are excited that this is a trial run for our big opening in the performing arts center next fall,” said Lenz.
All ticketing questions should be directed to Meagan Lenz at email@example.com or (952) 491-8235.