A farce to reckon with

‘Charley’s Aunt’ brings out the comedy on SHS stage

Jack Chesney (Ben Heintz)

Jack Chesney (Ben Heintz)

For more than 30 years, “Charley’s Aunt” has been in the back of director Robin Hall’s mind.

She last saw the play when it was the Sequim High School’s senior class play starring Dave McInnes, coincidently now playing Elwood P. Dowd in Olympic Theatre Art’s “Harvey.”

“I remember it being so funny,” she said. “He played Babs, the fake aunt, and I remember laughing and laughing.”

Many productions later, Hall finds this production’s Babs, Dylan DePrati, is a great fit.

“He’s a natural,” Hall said.

Babs, or Lord Fancourt Babberley, is the comic relief in “Charley’s Aunt” by Brandon Thomas that runs at Sequim High School Nov. 7-8 and Nov. 14-15.

Senior Ben Heintz plays Jack Chesney, a Yale undergraduate, in love with Kitty Verdun (Sarah Isenberger). He and his friend Charley (Hunter Cauffman), who loves Amy Spettigue (Niki McElhose), want to meet with the women but they must have a chaperone. Charley’s aunt, Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez, played by Selesha McKibbon, whom they’ve never met, is supposed to visit and stand in as chaperone but doesn’t, so Chesney recruits Babs to stand in — in a black satin skirt, bloomers and a wig.

Babs is introduced to the ladies’ guardians including Stephen Spettigue (Mikaele Baker) and unwanted romance kindles along with the comedy.

Hall said they made a few slight changes such as changing the young men’s college from Oxford University to Yale University and dropping accents and currency to make it easier to understand.

“Whether or not kids understand or even like the plot, they’ll like Dylan’s performance,” she said.

“Last year, we did Shakespeare and farces are fun. You put on a wig and a dress and it’s funny.”

This play comes after a busy spring and summer for many of the actors and Hall who led productions of “Les Miserables” in the summer and “The Sound of Music” in May.

“I’m really enjoying doing this one,” she said. “It’s a smaller cast, very light and no one is going to cry after leaving the theater.”

The play also includes actors David Burgher, Jared Kneidl and Victoria Hall. “Charley’s Aunt” has three acts with two short intermissions. All proceeds benefit Sequim High School’s ASB.

For more information on the play, call Sequim High School at 582-3600.

 

“Charley’s Aunt”

Written by Brandon Thomas; presented by Sequim High School Drama Department

Where: Sequim High School Auditorium, 533 N. Sequim Ave.

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7-8, Nov. 14, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

Tickets: $8 adults, $6 seniors/ students with ASB cards, available at door

 

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Right: Pieces of Civil War veteran Moore Waldron’s headstone can be seen in the right-hand corner of this photograph. Historical preservationist Mick Hersey, left, and the Taylor family of Gig Harbor returned the pieces to the Pioneer Memorial Park of Sequim for their friends the Englands (Moore’s descendants). The Englands read in the Sequim Gazette about the Sequim Garden Club’s preservation efforts at the park and decided to return these pieces for restoration. Moore now will have two markers in the park, as the Veteran’s Administration commissioned a new stone for Waldron in 2017 — an article about which can also be found on the Sequim Gazettte’s website. Moore moved to Sequim with his family in 1905 and died in 1908. Moore had five children and has descendants in Sequim and Pierce County as well as other places. Moore’s great-grandson is the founder of the Waldron Endoscopy Center in Tacoma, according to Cheryl England. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen
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