December 17

THE PLAY'S THE THING in Sunol these days. Sunol Glen students will be lighting up the stage tomorrow and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. with their annual winter program, under the direction of music teacher Mary Ann Butler. This year Santa gets stuck in a training class for mall Santas, and the kids have been practicing hard on getting laughs and making music. The eighth graders and the drama class anchor the show both nights, with the kindergarten through third graders filling out the cast tomorrow and the fourth through seventh graders on Wednesday.

One of the neat things about the school's holiday show is the connection between the school and the Sunol Repertory Theatre members who have been help with the set and lighting for the program. Getting to see the kids rehearse is one of the bonuses of helping out, especially since there are four Sunol Glen students and one grad in this year's SRT melodrama. Read on.

THOSE THEATRE PEOPLE: Writer/Director Tom Harland has assembled an illustrious cast for SRT's 2002 offering, "Caught in the Villain's Gaze, or…Your Mother Was Right About Those Theatre People." The hero, Frank Hartwright, will be played by Foothill sophomore and Sunol Glen graduate Nathan Harvey, who earned his stripes with his hilarious portrayals in SRT's last two productions. Kari Davis, Sunol Glen eighth grader, will be causing "ooohs" and "aaahs" as heroine Purity Dean. Kari has been acting for SRT since she was in second grade, missing only one season in spite of major roles in several Dublin Children's Theatre plays during that time.

Seventh-grader Sarae Van Dyke won the part of Miss Imakeed Morris, a vocal and demanding child, for her first SRT role. Sarae has also acted with the Dublin group, as well as studying acting and modeling. Martin Smith, Sunol eighth-grader, served on the technical crew last season and will assay his first SRT stage role this year as Billy, a young roustabout. And last season's Sign Girl, talented third grader Mary Chambers, returns with songs and lines this year in addition to her Sign Girl smiles.

The grown-ups (and in SRT, that's a relative term) trying to hold their own on stage with these talented youngsters include Bob Foster as the Great Santini, a complete scoundrel, but not without his charm, Patti Balch as Lota Donna, Santini's inept accomplice, and Phil Mumford as Randy Bilkyou, who is, according to the playwright, "the only one dumber than Lota." To everyone's delight, piano man Allen Schell is returning to tinkle the SRT ivories for the production.

Imakeed's mother, the social climbing Imogene Hewlett Morris, will be played by Louise Throop, and Ron Smith will play Frederick Seekley, a sneezing, wheezing hypochondriac. Watching Ron and his son Martin tear up the scenery at try-outs, it was clear the slice doesn't fall far from the ham. The town drunk with a faulty memory will be played by Ted Tinges, and Producer Diane Tiessen will adorn the stage as Marian Teasmore, a singer and dancer who adds some spice to the high jinx.

So far, the off-stage personnel for this season include Technical Director Derek Johnson, tech crew member Klay Kunkel, Prop Master Irv Tiessen, House Manager Barbara Egbert, and all around helpers Robb and Mary Marshall, Laurie Foster and Vicki Harland. Rehearsals begin January 8 in preparation for a stellar opening March 2, 2002, with shows Friday and Saturday nights through March 23. Tickets go on sale February 2, but you can grab some great seats early by becoming an SRT patron. Call Diane Tiessen at 925-862-2020 for a patron form today!

ANOTHER STAGE NEEDS YOU: There will be a Park Committee meeting Thursday (12-20) at 7 p.m. in the Sunol Glen Community Room. The focus will be the replacement of the park stage and committee chairman Jim O'Laughlin is encouraging folks to come and help make the important decisions this change entails. What should the stage be used for? How big should it be? What should the design be? And more. Bring pictures, sketches and anyone you know who is interested. Call Jim at 925-862-2550 if you have questions.


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