‘Spirit!’ exclaims you’re never to old to have fun

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
The cast of Jonathan Alder High School’s production of “Spirit!” includes: (seated) Maddie McMillen; (standing, from left) Matthew Dickman, Kenelm Kendig, Tyler Hicks, Mary Kate Hipp, Kendall Cuck, Sydney Winslow, Emily Haskins and Regina Campbell. Not pictured: Nehemiah Haines.

(Posted Nov. 10, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Obeying the rules? Nope. Respecting authority? Uh-uh.

Poker-playing, hula-dancing Clara is the leader of a “you’re never too old’ rebellion at her place of residence–the Happy Hollow nursing home. Clara’s exuberance s reflected in the title of her story and even its punctuation.

Peg Kehret’s “Spirit!” (check out that exclamation mark) is Jonathan Alder High School’s fall play selection. Shows are set for Nov. 17-19.

“I’m working with a student director, Danny Rodriguez. We read plays over the summer, and he found this one. We both thought it would be a good fit for the people we have this year,” said director Stephanie Tinberg.

Senior Maddie McMillen, a veteran of the Jonathan Alder stage, plays Clara.

“Maddie is always a really strong member of any cast I’ve ever had. She’s a leader and helps to set the foundation, just like her character does in this play,” Tinberg said.

Junior Mary Kate Hipp plays Clara’s disoriented yet playful roommate, Esther.

“Mary Kate is over-the-top and goofy,” Tinberg said. “She has taken her lines and transformed them into something I didn’t know they could be. She always has me laughing.”

The role of Arby, the aide who lovingly cares for the residents at Happy Hollow, went to junior Sydney Winslow.

“Sydney is kind and warm-hearted, and so is her character. She is a sweetheart in everyday life, always going out of her way to help others. She was a perfect fit for the role,” Tinberg said.

The director’s praise for the three leads is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her assessment of the 10-member cast as a whole.

“They came into auditions with great comedic timing and just being hilarious,” Tinberg said. “Now, they’re getting into the more dramatic side of things and bringing it all together.”

To see the results, choose from shows at 7 p.m. Nov. 17-18 and 1 p.m. Nov. 19. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens, and $5 for children 12 and younger. All shows take place in the Jonathan Alder High School auditeria.

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