‘Just Another Snow Day’

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
(Sentinel Photo by Beverly Van Buskirk) Cast members of the Le Mars Community High School’s fall play, “Just Another Snow Day,” rehearse a scene from the play in preparation for production Nov. 9-11, in the LCHS Little Theater.

LE MARS — While it’s only November, the winter wind will be howling and the snow will be flying in the Le Mars Community High School’s production of “Just Another Snow Day” this weekend.

The curtain will go up at 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9, 10 and 11 at the LCS Little Theater.

“Just Another Snow Day” is a hilarious look at what happens in the lives of kids and adults when a blizzard hits and knocks out the power to a small town very much like Le Mars.

(Sentinel Photo by Beverly Van Buskirk) Becky Kinney (left) and Summer LaPato play two elderly ladies in the Le Mars Community High School’s fall play, “Just Another Snow Day.”

In trying to figure out how to stay warm and occupied, the cast of 24 takes each quirky character and create flurries of fun, from licking a frozen flagpole to braving the elements in securing the latest video game to putting on a play without any actors, and snow on and snow forth.

Director of the play is Erin Ohrlund with Hannah Brennan as student director.

“I chose this play based on a recommendation from a speech coach at our district meeting last spring. The story has great humor, diverse characters, and a quick pace. After I read the script, I knew it that our students would have snow much fun putting it on,” Ohrlund said.

“What the students like most is the variety in the scenes. Every scene has comedic moments that the students relish, but they also love the surprising tender and serious twists that occur,” Ohrlund added.

All cast members take on their character role plus other duties as necessary to make the production a success.

Brennan, a senior, has been a member of the set crew since her freshman year before trying acting last year.

This time, she was chosen for student director, but has parts in the play, too.

“I play the camera person, I do the phone announcement voice, I’m the head of set crew, and I’m the student director so I come to every rehearsal and help Mrs. Ohrlund or the actors with things. I also build the sets and help plan everything out,” Brennan said. “I enjoy seeing the different characters that my classmates transform into and I get to make myself better, too.”

As student director, Brennan said she has “a ton of responsibility.” She also has to do more public speaking, which isn’t her strong suit.

“I have overcome these challenges by getting help from Mrs. Ohrlund or just practicing my lines and little speeches,” she said.

Another cast member, Caden Washburn, said he tried out for the play because he loves to make people laugh.

“When I tried out, I just hoped that I wouldn’t get a serious part,” he said.

Washburn, a senior, plays the part of Mr. Ruffino, a teacher.

“I love that I had someone to base my character off of. One of the challenges was learning how to act like (LCS teacher) Mr. (Shawn) Starr. He has many layers. Kind of like an onion,” Washburn said.

Washburn added he loves the skit style storytelling and the physical activity.

LCS Senior Andrea Barrett plays the part of Jessica.

“I tried out for the play because I love to perform and act on stage. It is also a great activity to get to know different students and spend time with them,” Barrett said.

“When we first got our parts, I was slightly concerned about my role because I am playing an angry girlfriend the whole play. As we have rehearsed, and performances are just around the corner, I have learned to love my role, and embrace it. I love my part because it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I get to be sassy, and funny, but also serious and heartfelt,” Barret said.

She calls the play unique because it has multiple different story lines going on that all tie together at the end.

“I love that because it gives more students the opportunity to have important roles, rather than just one or two lead roles,” she added.

One thing the audience will note is the lack of elaborate set design.

“The play is designed to play on a bare stage with minimal props and set, but we have added some changes to keep our set crew on their toes,” Ohrlund said.

It’s the little extras that will keep the audience guessing about what really happens to people on a snowy day.

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