Kentlake Theater Company returns to in-person performances with musical ‘Gypsy’

By Adrienne Washington, Special to the Kent Reporter

  • Wednesday, April 20, 2022 3:54pm
  • Life

Students at Kentlake High School are excited to perform their live theatrical production “Gypsy” for the community this May.

“Gypsy,” a musical, tells the story of an overbearing stage mother, Rose, as she chases vicarious success and stardom by pushing her daughters through the vaudeville circuit. Rose coerces her young daughter, Louise, into becoming a burlesque actress when their most talented daughter runs away from their mother’s indomitable pressure.

Kentlake drama club students have faced a multitude of challenges trying to perform in-person while also tackling a challenging production. From a new director and drama teacher, and a majority of the cast being underclassmen, the cast and crew had to work extra hard to make this production happen.

Caden Seil is a student at Kentlake playing the role of Tulsa, a farm boy who’s a talented dancer and dreams of having his own act in the vaudeville circuit.

“What I think is really great about this show is that it is very fun, it has a lot of exciting and upbeat elements to it. But it also has a lot of emotional depth at the same time. I think that’s what makes it so great,” Seil explained.

Students in the Kentlake Theatre Company program usually work their way up from 8th grade on. They start with small ensemble parts, giving them the opportunity to learn from upperclassmen. Students are then able to work their way up to lead roles in cast and crew by the time they’re juniors and seniors.

But in unusual circumstances, such as being in the middle of an ongoing pandemic and having lost a cohort of graduated seniors, the students and staff had to improvise.

The Gypsy cast and crew is composed almost entirely of underclassmen and understudies who have taken on challenging roles. Evelyn Golliet, playing the role of Baby June, is an 8th grader involved in the Kentlake Theatre Company. She has taken on an acting role despite this being her first live performance.

Behind the curtains, underclassmen have taken on crucial roles in the production of the play. Lee La France, a freshman at Kentlake, is responsible for being the lead sound tech for Gypsy.

Beau Lamb is the only senior in the cast. They have been doing shows since 6th grade with Kentlake Theatre Company.

“I’m really thankful for the fact that I get to perform my last show with this program, in person, on stage, in such an iconic musical and such an iconic role,” Lamb said.

The Kentlake Theatre Company students and staff have been working tirelessly on the play, putting their heart into its production with creative twists.

Zack Chaykin is the new Theater Director and drama teacher at Kentlake. He explains that the students and staff evolved the play with new choreography, props, sets, and costumes.

“We have a really great team for this production, you know, and there’s so much creativity that’s gone into really breathing new life into this musical, and finding new ways of doing it,” Chaykin said. “Doing these incredible costumes that, you know, they’re not just replicas of what’s been done before; they’re very original.”

CHECK IT OUT

The Kentlake Theatre Company’s production of “Gypsy” will take place May 12-14 and May 21 at 7 p.m.; and May 14, 15 and 21 at 2 p.m. at the Kentlake High School Performing Arts Center. Pre-sale tickets will be available for purchase. Learn more at www.kentlaketheatrecompany.com.


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