2017-03-16 / Life in Leelanau

Drama students double as playwrights; ready to shine

Three shows slated
By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff


GLEN LAKE School’s Repertory Company will present ‘The Show Must Go On’ tonight, Friday and Saturday. Pictured (from left) are cast members Grace Corbin, Jeremiah Dungjen, Sadie Murphy and Kate Blondia. Not pictured: Jessica Corbin. GLEN LAKE School’s Repertory Company will present ‘The Show Must Go On’ tonight, Friday and Saturday. Pictured (from left) are cast members Grace Corbin, Jeremiah Dungjen, Sadie Murphy and Kate Blondia. Not pictured: Jessica Corbin. Glen Lake School’s spring drama production was nearly a bust, due to a lack of interest.

That hasn’t deterred a small but mighty group of students from taking the stage.

The Glen Lake repertory company will present “The Show Must Go On!” tonight, Friday and Saturday in the school auditeria.

Bill Dungjen, a 1989 Glen Lake graduate, was tapped as director for the spring production. Initial plans were to present “Bullshot Crummond” a satire about “B grade” movies made in the 1930s. However, there wasn’t enough students to fill all roles.

Another alternative, to present a series of Vaudevillian acts, didn’t get off the ground either.

“After a week, I could see it just wasn’t working,” Dungjen said. “So, I suggested they write their own material.”

During two, 2-hour writing sessions, seven students collectively wrote their own short plays. One incorporates three elements suggested by Dungjen: a baby, déjà vu and a staircase. The second is a melodrama based on “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

“They really took off with it,” Dungjen said. “Their material is clever, insightful and funny.

“It’s a high energy show.”

It will be a first-of-a-kind experience for the students who are in grades eight through 10.

“It’s a fantasy spin-off,” eighth grader Grace Corbin said of the Goldilocks piece. “There’s a damsel in distress and a super hero too.”

After writing the material, the troupe took to the stage, ran through their lines and took direction from Dungjen on blocking, line delivery and editing. Tammy Naniot is producer.

“They performed and I poked holes in it,” the director said.

The theatrical endeavor has also been an opportunity for students to get acquainted with others who they don’t necessarily run into throughout the course of the day. Two are eighth graders, whose classes are contained to a middle school wing, separate from grades 9-12.

“We get along well,” eighth grader Kate Blondia said. “We had a lot of problems that we worked through together.”

In addition to eighth graders Corbin and Blondia, the cast includes freshmen Sage Campbell and Jeremiah Dungjen, the director’s son, as well as sophomores Sage Campbell and Jessica Corbin.

Sophomore Sadie Murphy is serving as student producer.

“She’s in production, I’m in reproduction,” Campbell joked, showing off the baby bump on the “fat suit” she found in the Glen Lake drama closet. She wears the suit in the baby skit as she portrays a pregnant mother of twins.

In the same short play, the younger Dungjen plays a traveling salesman named “George Buy-Mystuff.”

“It’s hyphenated,” he said.

Students also designed and built their own sets and picked out props.

In addition to their collaborative works, each student wrote their own monologue which they’ll deliver individually on stage from memory.

“These kids are willing to take risks. I asked them to write about something that’s been part of their school experience,” Dungjen said. “They’re not reading them. They’re acting them out.”

Shows are at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday.

Admission in $5 per person.

Return to top