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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pioneer Pride: LHS brings South Pacific to the stage

  • The Leavenworth High School Performing Arts Center has been transformed into an island paradise, for the upcoming musical performance of South Pacific.
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  • The Leavenworth High School Performing Arts Center has been transformed into an island paradise, for the upcoming musical performance of South Pacific. Stella, the Leavenworth High School drama troupe, will perform the fall play/musical on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 21, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m. Adults are $6 and students are $4.
    Lee Hitchler, LHS drama teacher said, "These students have really stepped up. This musical is complex in nature and execution and they have far exceeded my expectations – and their own. They have given countless hours in preparation for this production. We welcome the community in to the Leavenworth High School Performing Arts Center to see our accomplished thespians."
    For those unfamiliar with the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the storyline of the play is set during World War II, where two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, played by Kim Wood, is a spunky nurse from Arkansas who falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile, played by Mason Frasher. As they get to know each other, and learn about each other's background, Nellie refuses Emile's proposal of marriage.
    Meanwhile, Lt. Joe Cable, played by Marshall Hopkins, denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl, Liat, played by Taylor Brunson, for some of the same reasons that Nellie refuses Emile's love.
    A crew of sailors, led by Luther Billis and played by Chase Knueven, take the stage with song and dance, as they lament the absence of available women. They also negotiate the procurement of important items of the region and period, sold by Bloody Mary, played by Sam Foreman. Later, the nurses capture the audience and bring them into a far-gone era, featuring the classic performance of "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair."
    The actors are excited to share their hard work and shared talents with the community. They are also extremely grateful for the community's participation with helping to appropriately depict military life on an island in 1942.
    Specifically, JROTC loaned the theatre department with boots, maps, shoes, and walkie-talkies; and both Beckett Uniforms and Overlooked Antiques & Military Surplus Store loaned a number of costumes for the cast to wear on stage.

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