The annual production from the Stage Struck Players didn’t occur last year, but came back this year at the Neldon C. Mathews Auditorium in Panaca, previewing just as much talent as before.
“It was amazing,” said director Steffanie Thornock.
The Stage Struck Players were organized around 1987, and hold yearly performances, usually around September. A dozen actors and actresses put on quite the show Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday. This was Thornock’s third year of directing the performance.
Different musical numbers were selected and choreographed by Mindy Anderson, that really enhanced the performance. The choreography, costumes and talent of the group shone through, giving attendants a night of entertainment. The crew performed around 20 songs during the evening shows.
The 12 members, CaraLee Frehner, Nikki Carter, Natalie Hooge, Rebeka Lewis, Mindy Anderson, Thornock, Dylan Frehner, Bart Anderson, Marty Buschman, Don Picken, Jared Plunkett and Jacob Lester, had been practicing since July of this year, getting ready for the event.
Thornock thought one of the crowd favorites was the Men in Black theme songs.
The last night of the show brought chuckles as the Players performed their rendition of the “silent monks,” where the group were dressed in brown monk robes. The song “Hallelujah Chorus,” played in the background while the performers held signs in correspondence to the words of the song, rather than sing. Someone even slipped in a “Hi Mom,” sign.
At the end of the number, one naughty monk, played by Picken, nudged everyone over, causing the entire group to fall.
The robes will be added to their collection of costumes from over the years. The group has about a dozen different costumes to perform in.
Thornock said, “It was a really good. The cast got along really well this year, and worked really well together.”
One of Thornock’s highlights this year was the “Thneedville” song, from the movie, The Lorax. “People were characters, and really got into their character. I loved that,” Thornock said.
Thornock gave much credit to the two assistant directors Mindy Anderson and Jacob Lester. “Mindy Anderson was in charge of choreography, a huge part of the show, and was my biggest helper” Thornock said.
Lester helped with technical stuff, lighting and sounds. “He’s the music teacher, and helped correct our notes and sound, and made us sound better,” said Thornock.
Thornock said it was hard to find men to perform. This year, there were only six men who joined the group, so Thornock had to limit the ladies to just six.
Thornock said the reason the Stage Struck Players put on shows is to bring some culture to Lincoln County, “so we really appreciate the community coming out and supporting us. They give us feedback, and those are the things that keep us going.”