Kidnap the teacher?

Published 9:54 am Friday, April 1, 2011

Students rehearse their lines Wednesday afternoon at Southwest Middle School. The play “The Ransom of Miss Elverna Dower” debuts at 7 p.m. Friday. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Southwest Middle School students are presenting a play about kidnapping a teacher they don’t like to avoid taking a test — a scenario some students might have dreamed about already.

Students rehearse at Southwest Middle School Wednesday afternoon. The play is about students kidnapping a teacher no one likes. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

“Everyone will laugh,” Assistant Director Janece Birch said. “We’ve all had the experience with a teacher we don’t like.”

The play, “The Ransom of Miss Elverna Dower,” is a comedy and follows the antics of middle school students who kidnap their teacher and find no one will pay the ransom to get her back. Director Wendy Greenfield said the play is quite funny because the students find the teacher being even more strict after they kidnap her by correcting the grammar in their ransom note and assigning them more homework.

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“It’s a fun show,” Greenfield said. “It’s lighthearted and appropriate for all ages.”

More than 40 students tried out sfor the show, with a final cast of 17. With cast and crew there are about 24 students involved in the play. Greenfield said the students have been working on the play since mid-February.

Southwest Middle School students rehearse their parts for Friday’s play “The Ranson of Miss Elverna Dower.” -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

“It’s always a lot of fun to work with kids in this age group and to bring together all experience levels to put on a show,” Greenfield said.

One eighth-grader, Connor Larson, who plays Erik the Viking, said he enjoys hanging out with the other kids backstage and said the play is funny. Anna Englin, an eighth-grader who plays Erik’s cousin Michelle, said she likes the play because it makes fun of teachers.

“It’s fun to be someone else for a little bit,” Englin said.

The entire play takes place during a school day and runs about 90 minutes with intermission. The crew would like to thank parents and families for supporting them with the production.

Cast includes Riley Schulz, Jacob Jensen, Jeremy Sekora, Skyler Hanson, Sage Kermes, Luke Sundblad, Isabel Ehrhardt, Hanna Kingstrom, Solveig Lange, Quinn Andersen, Genevieve Johnson, Adison Talamantes, Claire Nelson, Carissa Fitzlaff, Carly Nelson, Larson and Englin.

Stage crew include Holly Wichmann, Sam Ware, Katelyn Hendrickson, Sydney Hagen and Nicole Borneman.