Hartem presents 
"Once Upon A Mattress"

[APRIL 14, 2000]  Will the princess pass the test and win the hand of the prince?  Will the king regain his power to speak?  Will everyone live happily ever after?

The answers will be found at the Hartem High School musical, “Once Upon A Mattress,” playing this Friday and Saturday night.  Time is 8 p.m. on both nights, and tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students from kindergarden through 12th grade.  Children under 5 are free.

The musical is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the princess and the pea, but with many amusing complications, such as a princess named Fred, an overbearing queen, a king who has lost his power of speech, a knight and lady in a quandary, as well as a jester, a wizard, a minstrel and assorted lords and ladies.


[Cast members of  “Once Upon A Mattress,” Hartem High School’s spring musical, end a scene in Act I with a pyramid of lords and ladies, and Princess Winnifred (Ginny Sparks) perched on top.]


Medieval costumes with plenty of gold and silver were rented, borrowed and even made by some of the cast members’ friends and families, according to Rachell Hall, director.  Jennifer Sydney of Lincoln, a student at Lincoln College, is directing the choreography.

The cast has been rehearsing for the past eight weeks, “morning, noon and night,” Hall said, and they recently presented Act I of the show to an audience of enthusiastic elementary students.          

The cast includes Leann Alberts as the minstrel, Vanessa Watson as princess #12, Carrie Rayburn as the wizard, Kent Leesman as Sir Harry, Katie Klokkenga as Lady Larken, Amber Post as Queen Aggravain, Larry Jones as Prince Dauntless, Ginny Sparks as Princess Winnifred, Nathan Reinhard as King Sextimus and Mark Leesman as the jester.


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Others in the cast are Brian Boerma, Shane Westen, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Jones, Karyn Traum, Amy Luken, Nichole Coers, Angie Ballance, Sarah Struebing, Jaci Cross, Jean Ann Cross, Stellakay Donaldson, Natalie Coers, Ashley Luken, Alexis Wenninger, Brooke Detmers, Sarah Harrington and Danielle Bergman.


[The 12th princess (Vanessa Watson) fails the test given by the wizard (Carrie Rayburn), while the royal family, King Sextimus (Nathan Reinhart), Queen Aggravain (Amber Post), Prince Dauntless (Larry Jones) and Sir Harry (Kent Leesman), look on.]


Orchestra members providing the music include students Brandon Wibben, Brian Baker, Rachel Wrage, Aaron Folkman and Monica Proefrock.  Music instructor Jeff Neavor is directing the orchestra, which has the assistance of faculty members Don Helm, Jayna Simmerman and Rachel Hall.

Tickets may be purchased at the door.  For those who want to support the Hartem Music Boosters at a higher level, Friend tickets are available at $15 each, Patrons may purchase two tickets for $25, Sponsors may purchase three at $50 and Angels may buy four tickets for $100.  All contributions help the school to present musicals and other drama productions.

[Joan Crabb]


Lincoln College Theatre presents "Summer Brave"

[APRIL 13, 2000]  The last performance of the season for the Lincoln College Theatre Department is the comedy-drama “Summer Brave,” to be presented April 13 through 16 at the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts.  The drama is playwright William Inge’s rewritten version of his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Picnic.”  

Director of the play is Lincoln College theatre instructor Jerry Dellinger, who has also designed a seating arrangement that simulates a thrust stage.  A thrust stage extends into the audience’s portion of the theater and has seats on three sides.  Some theatergoers at “Summer Brave” will find themselves actually sitting onstage, while others will be seated in bleachers close to the front of the stage.

“Sitting so close to the actors wakes up the audience and they become a part of the show,” Dellinger explains.  “It creates a real intimacy and a real connection between the audience and the actors.  People in the audience are seeing not only the actors but also other members of the audience.  The play becomes more three-dimensional, with actors moving around in all directions.”  

Each performance will seat about 115 patrons, Dellinger said.  There will be one 10-minute intermission.


[Madge (Brittney Dobson) sits and weeps while her mother, Flo (Mitchaleen Lowe), scolds her for staying out all night with newcomer Hal Carter and jeopardizing her chances of marrying her wealthy boyfriend.]


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Cast members include Jennifer Sydney as Millie, Justin Scully as the newsboy, Kary Markey as Bomber, Nathanael Kotras as Beano, Brittney Dobson as Madge, Shane J. Henaughan as Alan Seymour, Mitchaleen Lowe as Flo, Larry Sbertoli as Hal Carter, Cesili Williams as Rosemary Sydney, Kimberly Saindon as Mrs. Potts, Crystal H. Wilson as Irma Kronkite, Rachel Washam as Christine Schoenwalder, Adam Wettstein as Howard and Tony Soto as Joker.

“Summer Brave” is a story about growing up, going on and accepting what fate hands you.  The play opens in the back yard of the home in the small Kansas town where Flo Owens lives with her two daughters and a schoolteacher boarder.  Their peaceful existence is shaken up when an exciting young stranger, Hal Carter, comes along.  Carter causes the inner frustrations of these 1950s small-town folks to come to the boiling point.


[Madge (Brittney Dobson), the prettiest girl in town, causes a confrontation between exciting newcomer Hal Carter (Larry Sbertoli, left) and her wealthy boyfriend Alan (Shane J. Henaughan).]

Show time is 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday.  Ticket prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children and senior citizens.  To reserve tickets, call 732-3155, extension 280, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  [Joan Crabb]


Student artists showcase
historic buildings

Five receive awards

[APRIL 12, 2000]  Five area high school students have been selected as winners of the Art and Photography contest sponsored by Main Street Lincoln and Heartland Community College. The subject of the art and photography contest was historic buildings in downtown Lincoln.

Josh Mileham of Lincoln Community High School won first place in the drawing category for his sketch of the building at 117 N. Kickapoo St. which houses Abe's Carmelcorn. Beth Bryant, also an LCHS student, won second place in the category with her colored pencil drawing of the same building. LCHS Student Katie Gillen won third place for her sketch of the Lincoln Public Library.


[First place, drawing:  Josh Mileham]


Another LCHS student, Laura Baker, won first place in the photography category for her color photo of the Logan County Courthouse. Andy Volle of Mount Pulaski High School received first place in the oil and acrylic category for his painting of the Eckert Building at 123 S. Sangamon St.


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[First place, photography:  Laura Baker]


The first place winners each received a $50 cash prize. The winning artwork can be viewed as part of the Prairie Arts Council display in the American Red Cross window at 125 S. Kickapoo St. in downtown Lincoln.

"This contest gave art students an opportunity to view our beautiful historic buildings with an artistic eye," noted Dale Bassi, Main Street president. "We were pleased to give these young people an opportunity to showcase their talent," he added.  


[First place, oil and acrylic:  Andy Volle]


[Jan Schumacher, Main Street Lincoln]