TCCS staging western parody

Published 2:33 pm Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

TERRA CEIA — Talented actors and actresses from Terra Ceia Christian School will present their spring dessert-theater production this weekend.
The western-themed show, titled “Buckshot &Blossoms,” will be performed Friday and Saturday evenings, beginning at 7 p.m., at the school. Tickets are $5 per person, which includes dessert at intermission.
The parody features 23 characters brought to life by 16 students, according to Laurie Weston, who is directing the show this year.
Preparations for the show began in March, according to veteran director Weston, and the cast is hard at work putting the final touches on the production.
“This is it. Now we’re in the short rows,” she said.
Action centers around the Trail Dust Hotel. Because only a few males tried out for parts, some adjustments were made in other characters to accommodate female performers, according to Weston.
“This is probably one of the funniest ones that we’ve done,” Weston said of the show, a longtime TCCS tradition. “The first night we read it, they were laughing in the aisles.”
Junior Nathan Engelhardt has been active in the school’s theatrical productions for three years, and this year he’s portraying three different characters. Saddleblanket Rawlins is his favorite.
“He’s an old prospector who owns a mine that’s filled with nothing,” Engelhardt said with a laugh. “He has a really hilarious death scene.”
Senior Kelsey VanStaalduinen is enjoying her fourth, and final, TCCS production. She also is cast in three roles, those of Annabelle Rawlins, Dolly Roger and Henrietta Geyser. And, like Engelhardt, she has a favorite.
“I like Annabelle. She’s sweet, just a good girl who’s trying to outlaw guns in the west,” said VanStaalduinen. “This play is funny, and we actually do a really good job with our accents. We all got into character really fast.”
Austin VanStaalduinen, a sophomore, portrays Whip Lash, the hotel’s owner and a man who isn’t quite the person he seems to be.
“He’s a bad guy, he’s a character,” VanStaalduinen said. “He kind of deceives people. He comes off as really a nice gentleman, but underneath he’s really a tricky guy.”
Rounding out the cast are Sarah Tubaugh, Madison Hudson, Jennifer Woolard, Lindsay Ball, Lauren Williams, Caroline Welti, April Striblin, Selby Ross, Sarah Harris, Lisa Striblin, Chandler Furlough, Blake Gelderman and Thaddeus Van Essendelft.
Handling backstage duties, along with Weston, are Austin Van Vuren, Ball, Hudson and Engelhardt. Jackie May is also assisting with the show.
The production is a highlight of the school year for the Terra Ceia community.
“We can usually count on 200 people per night in the audience,” Weston said. “And the ladies auxiliary of TCCS are organizing the desserts, contacting people to do desserts. They’re all going to be homemade and very special.”