The Mahomet Seymour Junior High cafeteria will be transformed in to the streets of New York City and Havana, Cuba this weekend while a cast and crew of students bring the musical Guys and Dolls Junior to life.
Guys and Dolls hit the Broadway stage in 1950 and has had several reprisals since. This version is Guys and Dolls Junior from a special collection of musicals for younger performers, according to co-director Beth Hensley, co-sponsor of the MS Junior High Drama Club.
In this version, Nathan Detroit, played by eighth grader Josh Cubberley, will have to fold his floating craps game unless he can win a bet from slick high roller Sky Masterson, played by 8th grader Josh Tomashek. Masterson bets he can woo any “doll” so Detroit chooses missionary Sarah Brown, played by Haley Sahni, also in 8th grade. In the bet, Masterson has to convince Brown to spend an evening with him in Havana. Detroit’s neurotic permanent fiancée, Miss Adelaide, played by 8th grader Neenah Williams, rounds out the main characters.
The four lead actors and the student director were asked about their roles:
Describe your character. “I play Sky Masterson, a gambler who takes a bet and ends up falling in love with a doll.”
What do you like about your part? ”I love singing. Sky’s part had more singing in it than Nathan’s.”
Who do you want to give a “shout out” to? “I’d like to give a shout out to my parents. They had to work through their schedules so I can go and do this.”
Describe your character?: “I play Nathan Detroit. I arrange craps games and I have been engaged to Adelaide for 14 years.”
How many productions have you been in? “I’ve been in productions since I was 9 years old. We moved here from Ohio.”
Why do you like drama? “Drama is a place where your differences make you similar.”
Describe your character? “I play Adelaide. I have been engaged for 14 years, and I’m the leader of the Hot Box Girls. I really want to get married to Nathan.”
What do you like about drama? “I really like that I get to change in to a different personality.”
You have been in productions since 5th grade. What do you think of this one? “This is the first time I have had a lead role. I am trying to set an example for the 6th and 7th graders. “
Describe your character: “I play Sarah, a missionary who is pestered by Sky Masterson.” She describes her character as “goodie-goodie.”
What have you gotten out of being in drama? “Drama has helped me grow. I am much more comfortable in front of people now. I notice that even when I sing in church.”
What is the best part about being in a production?: “My favorite thing is when it all comes together during the performance and you can see everyone’s hard work.”
What is your role? “I’m the student director. My job is helping the director and keeping rehearsals running smoothly.”
Have you been in productions before? “I directed my first play at Lincoln Trail. I was on the crew in 6th grade and the cast in 7th grade. “
What do you think of the actors? “We have amazing singers and actors with very powerful voices.”
The musical will open Friday March 11 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available in the Junior High office, or at the door. The Saturday, March 12 performance also will be at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for students and senior citizens. $7 for adults. A special parent preview will be Thursday evening.
The Drama Club is sponsored by MSJH staff Beth Hensley and 6th grade teacher Miranda Crawford. About 50 students are actors on stage, according to Hodges, with an additional 20 students comprising the set crew.