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INA, Ill. (Nov. 5, 2013) – Grab t' sprogs and head t' Rend Lake College! "Treasure Island" opens Thursday night! There will be sword fighting, pirate songs and even a chorus line devoted to one character's deranged desire for cheese.
“It’s a ridiculously funny version of the classic adventure tale,” said RLC Theatre Director Tracey Webb. “Yes, the pirates are bloodthirsty and dangerous, but they are also hilarious, and you end up liking them in spite of yourself.”
Can't make it opening night? There are four performances to choose from! Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.
It's all hands on deck for Professor Webb's 40th production at the college. The cast and crew of the fall play work nightly on perfecting their roles, learning dance steps, building sets and nailing down a British dialect or two in preparation for opening night. The cast was
selected in September. Webb said the roles of the characters, while being pirates, are extremely comical.
“When we had our first read through of the entire play, the cast and crew were struggling to get through some of the scenes because they were laughing so hard,” said Webb. “Comedy on stage is a beautiful thing. It takes us out of our hectic lives for a while and helps us feel lighthearted and childlike again, and that is why I chose this script.”
The script used during the play is freely adapted for both male and female pirates. It was written by Phil Willmott, and based on the original novel by Scottish Author Robert Louis Stevenson. Willmott’s version was first performed in England in 2006, though the original novel dates back to 1883.
The play is family-friendly and sure to raise the pulse of its audience. Tickets for the play are on sale for $12 a ticket. To purchase tickets, call 618-437-5321, Ext. 1467. Tickets are also available at the door if not sold out. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.
“Treasure Island” welcomes several actors back to the RLC stage, including a duo who have performed together five times.
Aaron Dawson, a 15-year-old from Benton, will be playing the role of Captain Flint, a parrot puppet. “Treasure Island” will be Dawson’s ninth show with Webb and 11th show of his acting career, making him one of the more experienced of the actors and also the youngest.
“I have a lot of fun at the theater and I get to meet all sorts of new people,” said Dawson. “When I was younger, my parents asked me if I was interested in acting, so I tried it and I really liked it. Tracey invited me to do a show at Rend Lake after seeing me with Pyramid Players [a theater company out of Benton], and it went very well.”
Dawson said he plans to attend Rend Lake College in a few years as a general studies and theater major before graduating and attending ministerial school.
Another actor from Benton, John Nalley, will be joining Dawson on stage for his fifth show as the notorious Long John Silver. Nalley has had several starring roles on the RLC theater stage, including the father in Father of the Bride, Mr. Banks.
“My friend and I auditioned on a whim back in 2009, and we ended up playing the villain and villainess in the show,” said Nalley. “I began to think of the theater as my home away from home. I’ll take any role, big or small, as long as I get to perform.”
In addition to Dawson and Nalley, there are 33 actors:
Tara Bell Janowick (Johnston City) as Meg Trueblood
Phillip Borcherding (Mt. Vernon) as Banjo Brody (banjo)
Bethaney Brown (Mt. Vernon) as Nightingale Nell
Shawna Cardwell (Benton) as Whipstitch Winnie
Phillip Catt (Tamaroa) as Newport Ned
Nick Conner (Sesser) as Nathaniel Crisp
Elecia Crider (Woodlawn) as Shoreditch Sal
Cortne Fletcher (Benton) as Canterbury Kate
Curtis Galloway (Benton) as Israel Hands
Donald T. Graham-Barnett (Du Quoin) as Peatbog Pat
Sierra Harrell (Mt. Vernon) as Miss Lucinda Livesey
John Hunsell (Mt. Vernon) as Old Joe
Brandon Isom (Christopher) as Gentleman Jack
Robin Johnson (Benton) as Greystoke Gertie
Clay Lewis (Mt. Vernon) as Hardy
Chris Milburn (Mt. Vernon) as Captain Obadiah Smollett
Thomas Miller (Pinckneyville) as Tenderloin Ted (guitar)
George Motsinger (Christopher) as Barnacle Billy
Cheyenne Needham (Benton) as Cornwall Kelly
Josh Nelson (Mt. Vernon) as Ben Gunn
Quentin Overturf (McLeansboro) as Blind Pugh
Vonnie Palmer (Johnston City) as Mad Mary Maguire
Shelby Patterson (Waltonville) as Piccadilly Poll
Eric Price (Benton) as Jim Hawkins
Danielle Roberts (Mt. Vernon) as Dizzy Delores (recorder)
Devin Riley (Dix) as Harry Flash
Trevor Skidmore (Mt. Vernon) as Lionheart Lenny
Christine South (Enfield) as Lady Jacqueline Trelawney
Caleb Staples (Mt. Vernon) as Black Dog
Troy Stickel (Benton) as George Merry and Billy Bones
Lauryn Strom (Sesser) as Liverpool Lee (percussion)
Shannon Twitty (Bluford) as Sherwood Sheila (tambourine)
Yuting Zhang (Dahlgren) as Cheng I Sao
There are also several crew members and volunteers helping with the play, including Skyler Alldredge (Benton), Josh Dawson (Benton), Nicole Foskey (Johnston City), Timothy Learned (Mulkeytown), Anthony Mitchell (Benton), Josh Moyer (Mt. Vernon), Shelby Patterson (Waltonville), Jessa Poninski (Mt. Vernon), Aaron Ramsey (Mt. Vernon), Matthew Rush (Benton), Krystal Schuh (Newton) and Shannon Webb (Ewing).