Thursday, December 14th, 2006
By Laura Walker
Students write and produce play 'You Don't Know Jack'
  ST. HENRY - Whit, humor and personality shine in every aspect of the high school drama club production "You Don't Know Jack."
The play, a murder mystery comedy, was written by the cast and director and involves two families coming together through marriage. Leonardette and Jack Jopplin marry and make a home together for their four children.
The cast of high school students worked silly sayings, jokes and lots of goofiness into the script. For instance, at what is supposed to be a formal house party for the newlyweds, the entire cast breaks into a rockin' dance number.
It starts with a conga line and evolves into each character or couple having a dance style of their own. When the dance concludes the cast members comment, "Isn't "it ironic?" "What?" "That everyone here is a professional dancer."
Director Rose Harrod, a 1999 St. Henry grad, said this is the first year the drama club has written its own production and the first to have dance sequences. She and nine cast members took about 20 hours to write the play.
The writers used their friends' quotes and experiences in the show.
Harrod said ideas came together over time. She said it took awhile to piece the show together, leaving only about one month for the 18-member cast and 14-member crew to practice.
"You can really make a character your own; you can take and warp it with no worry about insulting the writer," said senior Meghan Koesters, who plays Jack's lazy daughter.
Koesters and senior Kyle Petitjean, Jack's oldest child, both assisted in the writing and have been in previous performances. Petitjean said he is headed to college for film and really liked writing the play.
The drama club is a diverse yet close knit group with basically the same people trying out each year, said senior Sarah Lefeld, who plays Jack, a wealthy newspaper editor.
"Becoming involved in drama club is one of the best experiences I've ever had; getting to try something different," Lefeld said.
Half way through the play, Jack dies and ditzy blond twins Pixie and Dixie Cupp, played by senior Tabitha Linn and freshman Ashley Kunkler, try to decide the number to call to get help for their stepfather.
"What's the number for 911?"
"I think it starts with eight."
This low-budget production had most cast members coming up with their own costumes. Stage makeup was donated by a cast member's aunt.
For props cast members scavenged the town on the local junk pick-up day and found a couch (the staple of their set) and a Coca-cola machine that didn't work. As they were ready to load up the machine, another scavenger wanted it and offered the cast $24 for it. They sold it without a thought.
The $24 aided in paying for the "13,000 sheets of paper it took to write the play," Harrod said. She said the drama club's big fundraiser will be a spaghetti dinner in February, where a duct tape dress created by the cast will be raffled off.
  One of the club's goals is to purchase new backdrops.
"It is pretty impressive what they can do with what they have," said Emily Schlater, a community member who volunteers her time to help Harrod.
"I've never seen a more outgoing group of silly kids," Schlater added.
Harrod agreed, saying, "It is fun to see kids being kids."
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Not guilty plea entered on charge of drug-related death
• Bowling recognized as club sport
• State likely to award grant for Cooper Farms street reconstruction
• Most of district's teachers rated 'highly qualified'
• Man enters not guily plea to reckless homicide charge
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