Northwest NEWS

May 31, 1999

Valley Special

'Nine Lives' at Cedarcrest


Sara Purdey (left) and Shawna Vasquez apply makeup for their roles as cats.

   The Cedarcrest drama students' production of Nine Lives will be presented on June 2, 3, and 4, 7:30 p.m. in the Cedarcrest Theater.

   As the story begins, night falls on a graveyard, and after twilight is done, the cats come out to play. On this night, one cat will be selected to be reborn and have nine new lives. This night is devoted to earning the Jellicle cat leader's favor in poem, dance, and song. Each evening's production will feature a different cast and almost 150 students will be involved in the endeavor.

   The process of putting the show together has been a real learning process for the students. They began by designing the stage setting and building model sets. As a part of her senior project, Holly Ellis worked with teacher Karen King in selecting the best of the ideas.

   The students then constructed and painted the set, which features a large tree and rocks with multiple levels for climbing and trap doors for entrances. Hundreds of fabric leaves were glued to poultry netting to form the tree top and add dimension and depth to the stage. A student-painted backdrop features a night sky, city skyline, and glittering moon.

   After receiving their roles, students developed characters and began script writing and customizing the script to their cast. Songs needed to be rehearsed and dances choreographed. Senior Myriah Bergquist worked as student director for one group as a part of her senior project and learned the challenges of getting a large group to listen and work together.

   Students then designed costumes and makeup to make themselves look like cats. Carly Ryan and Jeremy Jonas helped teach their classmates the art of makeup application. Another technical area of concern was stage lighting. Brent Workman and Johanna DeVoe have been busily setting lighting instruments and coming up with a lighting plot that will enhance the actors' appearance and the set. They have learned how lighting patterns used in the instruments can create the effects of leaf shadows.

   New drama student Brianne Foster said, "Many of us are learning how to set up lighting and troubleshoot if something goes wrong."

   Cost for adults and students without ASB card is $5; senior citizens and students with ASB card is $3; and children $2.