Elk Lake offers “Way Out West’ musical

The cast take their places in a makeshift saloon. PHOTO COURTESY OF ADAM WOOD



Special to Susquehanna County Independent 

Drama students at Elk Lake High School are taking the community “Way Out West in a Dress” this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5-6, in the school’s fall musical.

Set back in western times in the city of Lucky Lady, Nev., two actors open an inherited business that isn’t exactly what they thought it was. With the help of their lady friend, the two actors go through extreme and comedic lengths to keep this business up and running.

Dereck Swingle, veteran to the Elk Lake stage, plays Clarence Rawlings, an actor who inherits the business from his recently deceased aunt. For this role, Swingle enjoys the fact about the complexity of his role and is different from past productions.

“It is different because I get to play four different people and act like a woman,” Swingle said. “I also get to act like an actor on stage, so it is fun.”

In the role of Colt Revolver Jr., one of the antagonists, is Danny Addice, who said he enjoys his role for the musical because his character is rather evil.

“My role in the play is unique because he is the true western bad guy,” Addice said. “He is a dastardly villain and is everything someone thinks about when they picture a western movie bad guy. It is really fun to be an evil old snake.”

Addice said that the audience would enjoy Colt’s first hands to take away Clarence’s business.

Villainess Jessica James is played by Samantha Stevens who said her role is one of the most challenging that she has had.

“Playing the sassy villain is a lot of fun but also the fact that this part has so many songs,” Stevens said. “It requires me to step out of my comfort zone, but the challenge is fun.”

Stevens believes that the audience will love the storyline to the musical and all of the characters.

Other cast members include: Cameron White, Samantha Malandri, Doug Brooks Curtis Spila,

Cast of “Way Out West In A Dress” performing their opening number. PHOTO COURTESY OF ADAM WOOD

Kyler DeGrote, Seth Tewksbury, Brandon Rogers, T.J. Wallikas, Kevin Burns, Jackie Clark, Danielle Sterner, Veronica Head, Katie Cokely, Sarah Shuren, Shanice Warner, Megyn Stevens, Natalie Newhart, Kelly Severcool, Samantha Boner, Nicole Proske, Madeline Spila, Tracy Severcool, Haley Skinner, Emily Burns, Rachel Sprout, Devon Greenwood, Rebecca Phillips, Rachel Zayleski, Jade Coleman-Hall, Jessica MacDonald and Shayla Griffiths.

Faculty adviser, Ina Bradish, takes the position of director for the fall musical. According to Bradish, there are some new changes to the actual setup for the upcoming musical.

“In this play we have two sets combined on the stage,” Bradish said. “Usually we change the set for each scene, but for this one we are splitting the stage.”

For this production, the actors had to face challenges from staging to choreography.

“One challenge for the students has been learning all the dance moves for the songs,” Bradish said.  “Also we are having them freeze for scenes that overlap and that has been quite difficult for them.”

According to Bradish, the audience will definitely love the songs that will be performed in the musical and that the audience will find the storyline to be funny.

Tickets for “Way Out West in a Dress” are $3 each when you get reserved seating and are available at the door. You can also reserve seating by calling 278-1106 ext. 750.

The play is offered at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

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