The upcoming Reader’s Theater performance of The Scribblings of Klaus the Mouse has an almost entire animal cast.
The show, debuting on Oct. 24 and 25 at 7:30pm, has resonated with the actors, as many of them identify with the characters they play.
“I love my character. He is a super spunky, wild, energetic hamster who loves candy and that is pretty much me,” said senior Owen Bister who plays one Hamster Sam.
Sophomore Kanai Kalama plays the title role of Klaus the Mouse, despite never being in a show before, and has had a difficult time finding his character’s voice.
“[I am] working on emotions and getting really into character,” said Kalama. “No one has just a regular voice in Reader’s Theater.”
With a variety of roles being portrayed, a majority of the actors are having a blast in rehearsals.
“[The show] is super funny and unique and all the characters are so individually creative and lively,” said Bister.
The character of Klaus throughout the show is driven by his dream to one day find love, this idea resonated with Bister.
The lesson of the show is, “follow your dreams no matter what anybody says or thinks,” he said.
Writer and director Jesse Miller wanted to reach the hearts of anybody who came to see the production.
“Everybody has a dream,” she said. “It is a universal idea that everyone can relate to.”
While the cast and crew want the show to tug on the heartstrings, they also aim to make the audience laugh.
“You are constantly engaged. It is impossible to be bored or fall asleep during the show,” said junior Molly Odell. “It is funny, it is really interesting and the songs are fun.”
Odell choreographs the show and writes lyrics to the song parodies used in production.
“The first day Miller announced [Mannie], I already had song ideas,” said Odell. She never really had that in the past shows, none of them had serious choreography and that’s something fun to add into the show.”
Reader’s Theater productions are different from conventional productions as they stay seated the duration of the show, they also control their own spotlight from their seat.
“I like being able to make moves quickly and it is one less thing that can go wrong,” said senior Josh Davis who plays Klaus’ rat cousin, Sassafrass. “But at the same time, there is one more thing to worry about when you are really stressed already.”
It gives other actors comfort.
“I like knowing that I am in control of my entrances and exits,” said Bister.
Enduring an hour and a half show on the stools does challenge the actors.
“Sitting pushes you as an actor because you do not have full use of your body to express,” said Davis.
The reader’s theater performances are the only performances that do not have Wednesday through Saturday night showings because the show’s runtime is approximately an hour and 15 minutes.
They perform eight shows, three of them for each block period on a block day, and one in the evening.
The actors receive permissions slips in order to leave class for school-day performances, but not all of them are in love with this idea.
“Missing out on two full block days means more catching up later on,” said Bister.
Classes come see the show during the day on the block days, teachers can sign up by period through email with Miller.
The shows during the day are free for students, at night it is $10 at the door.
The drama department welcomes all audiences to see it twice.