Guess who is coming to the Wapahani High School stage? “Winnie the Pooh/Winnie the Pooh/Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.” That’s right. That “silly old bear” Winnie the Pooh is! The Wapahani High School Drama Club will proudly present Winnie-the-Pooh dramatized by Kristin Sergel from the stories of A.A. Milne and presented by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company in Woodstock, Illinois on Thursday, March 8; Friday, March 9; and Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 7PM in the WHS Auditorium. Tickets will be $5.00 for those school age and older.
Directed by high school English and speech teacher Mr. Ken Robinson, Winnie-the-Pooh features three adventures from the famous book by A.A. Milne: Pooh’s attempt to reach some honey, Pooh’s and the other animals’ in the Hundred Acre Wood reactions to the arrival of “a fierce creature”, and Pooh getting stuck in the door of Rabbit’s hole. Narrated by an unseen voice, junior Gwendolyn Howell, the stories come from the imagination of Christopher Robin played by eighth grader Kevin Robinson.
Winnie the Pooh is brought to life by sophomore Parker Clingerman. The show also features the familiar characters of Piglet played by eighth grader Sofia Murrell, Owl portrayed by senior Joselyn Hittson, Eeyore played by junior Logan Headley, Kanga played by freshman Syndal Hittson, Roo played by freshman Macy Anderson, and Rabbit played by junior Paige Miller. Other forest animals are played by eighth grader Nolan Cherry, sixth graders Gracie Crow and Mia Tomey, and freshman Jaden Thompson. The cast is rounded out by other extras from the elementary school, Asa Leisure and Sage Murrell as other forest animals.
Two of the cast members have a unique connection to the show as they are second generation performers of this show. Sofia and Sage Murrell are the children of Wapahani alumnus Darren Murrell who played Winnie-the-Pooh in a production his senior year. Mr. Robinson is thrilled to see theatre arts in the Liberty Perry schools continue from generation to generation. He says, “This says a lot about our community when parents remember the importance of theater in their own lives and want to make sure their children have this experience too.”
A special raffle will also be held in conjunction with the play. One lucky child will win the plush Winnie-the-Pooh doll used in the production! Also, other related figures and plush toys will also be raffled off. All proceeds will go to help offset the costs of the show. Tickets will be 25 cents each or 5/$1 and will be available each night of the show, and the drawing will be held on Saturday night after the final performance. Winners need not be present to win.
The Drama Club and Mr. Robinson chose Winnie-the-Pooh with the younger members of their audience specifically in mind. “We wanted to give the children something to show them that watching a play can be fun and exciting for them as well as for adults. The show brings out several themes that we all can relate to: what it means to be a true friend, not jumping to conclusions, and the importance of working together.” The cast is quick to point out that the show should appeal to both adults and children. Although it does not appear in this particular version, a specific quote from the original book summarizes the themes quite well. Christopher Robin is getting ready to start school, and he says to Winnie-the-Pooh, “’Promise me, you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’” As can be seen, he’s not just a “silly old bear” after all.
The Drama Club and Mr. Robinson hope that families will come out and enjoy the show together on Thursday, March 8; Friday, March 9; or Saturday, March 10. For further information, call the high school office at (765) 289-7323.