RCCT presents high school production ‘The Curious Savage’

Courtesy Photo Above, actors, from left to right, Emmalyn Riddle, Abby Pflug, Austin Arkwood, Sophia Schiepek and Sydney Tulgestke rehearse “The Curious Savage,” running tomorrow through Sunday at Rogers City Community Theatre.

In what is quickly becoming a much-anticipated tradition, Rogers City Community Theatre presents its third annual high school production, “The Curious Savage,” showing Thursday through Sunday. Following on the heels of the well-received performances of “Miracle Worker” and “Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon,” the youth of Rogers City are once again bringing quality live theater to the stage.

“The Curious Savage” tells the story of Mrs. Ethel P. Savage, a feisty widow bent on following her own path in spending her husband’s wealth. Her deliciously rotten step-kids, eager to get their hands on the money, commit her to a mental institution, where the gentle inmates and their sweetly skewed perspective put to the question which is more sane, the world inside or outside the walls we build.

Performances will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Rogers City Theater, 257 N. 3rd St. in Rogers City. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students, available at the door. Show information is available at Roger City Community Theatre’s website, www.rcctheatre.org, or by emailing info@rcctheatre.org, or by phone at 708-808-RCCT (708-808-7228).

Actors involved in the production include the following: The Guests — Florence: Sophia Schiepek, Hannibal: Sydney Tulgestke, Fairy May: Emmalyn Riddle, Jeff: Austin Arkwood, and Mrs. Paddy: Fallon Schulte; The Family — Titus: Daniel Bielas, Ursula: Caitlin Shadbolt, Lily Belle: Miranda Seiter, and Ethel: Abby Pflug; The Staff — Miss Wilhelmina: Jasmine Ramus, and Dr. Emmett: Mallory Ryan.

Production staff includes Director Julie Riddle, Technical Director Karl W. Heidemann, Assistant Director/Stage Manager Ashley Nowicki, Lighting Technician Justice Cuddie, Sound Technician Noah Hanson, Mic Technician Brooke Ganske, and Makeup Technician Makayla Tennant.

Wealthy widow Mrs. Ethel P. Savage has been placed into a home for the mentally unstable by her three exasperating adult children, who are determined to get their hands on their father’s money. Mrs. Savage encounters the sweetly unbalanced residents of the home, who have each retreated from the world into their own quirky reality. The pandemonium that ensues will leave the audience giggling and wiping tears from their eyes.

With warmth and humor, the play explores society’s standards of “normal” and raises the question of whether it is better to retreat from life’s eccentricities or to live courageously among them.

“The Curious Savage” is full of well-rounded, lovable characters with strong inner lives that actors have been able to explore and bring to life.

The spirited Mrs. Savage is played by senior Abby Pflug.

“Abby’s a great fit for the role,” said Riddle. “Some of her lines, it doesn’t matter how many times I hear them, she just makes me laugh.”

The residents of The Cloisters (affectionately known at rehearsals as the Fab Five) are quirkily charming and lovable. They are brought to life by Emmalyn Riddle, Sophia Schiepek, and Fallon Schulte, all of whom have appeared in high school shows previously, and by newcomers Austin Arkwood and Sydney Tulgestke. Mrs. Savage’s unpleasant stepchildren (the Rotten Kids) are the bad guys you love to hate, played with energy by Daniel Bielas, Miranda Seiter and Caitlin Shadbolt. The Cloisters’ ever-patient doctor and nurse are portrayed with calm conviction by Jasmine Ramus and Mallory Ryan.

“I knew my actors would enjoy working with the interesting characters of this play, but they exceeded my expectations,” Riddle said. “They each worked industriously to find their character’s motivations and to portray them realistically.”

She said it has been rewarding to work with the students actors.

“It was heartwarming to watch the actors get to know their characters,” she continued. “It’s such a great experience to be a director and to have a front row view of this transformation from actor to character.”

Rogers City Community Theatre is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization committed to providing high quality live theater performances and educational opportunities for people of all ages for personal and artistic growth in all aspects of theater production.