GCRC to present adaptation of the Stevenson classic





Just like hunting for buried treasure, cast and crew members will be digging deep the next few days in preparation for the Garden City Recreation Commission's production of "Treasure Island" this weekend.

The GCRC is holding four performances of the show this weekend, all at Clifford Hope Auditorium. The shows are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

On Tuesday night, cast and crew members converged to do a full rehearsal.

"Normally, our last three or four rehearsals would be dress rehearsals, but we kind of combined our tech and dress rehearsals last night and tonight," said Brian Seagraves, GCRC arts and theater director. "Then the kids will do full costumes and scene changes and everything, but we won't have lights and sound on Thursday and Friday, for the most part. We still have roughly five rehearsals left because we'll rehearse all day Thursday and Friday, while school is out."

For "Treasure Island," there are 12 child roles and two adult roles. While kids usually jump at the chance to speak like a pirate, Seagraves said that has been one of the biggest challenges.

"The kids are coming along really good. I think the most challenging thing for them has been learning British and pirate speak," he said, laughing.

Connor Hipp, 13, who is playing Captain Bill, said he likes speaking in a British accent, but that portraying a pirate is a challenge.

"The pirate accent, for me, is hard, but the British accent, I do it all the time," Connor said. "I can't get down low enough to speak like a pirate."

One of the lines he is supposed to do in pirate speak is, "Be gone before I'm forced to swing at your land-lovin' hide."

The book "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson was first published in 1881. It's about a young boy who goes on an adventure seeking treasure, while battling pirates who are seeking it, as well.

To Connor, the story's underlying message goes deeper than that.

"Sometimes we can trust people who look like they're not trustworthy," he said, adding that the opposite also can be true.

Connor's sister, 14-year-old Kylee Hipp, who is playing the part of Dr. Livesey, also found a deeper meaning in the play.

"I get that you should really never give up on what you're going after, no matter what trials and tribulations come your way," Kylee said.

Other cast members and their parts are as follows: Asa Gibbons plays Long John Silver; Taylor Newsome plays Squire Trelawney; Megan Allen plays Captain Smollett; Jaclyn Radke plays a sailor/pirate; Elly Murrell plays Jim/Angie; Abby Murrell plays Morgan; Cooper Kleysteuber plays Lloyd; Delaney DeSpain plays Ben Gunn; Lathe Denney plays Blind Pew; Colten May plays Jason/Captain Bill/Israel Hands; and John Dohogne plays a pirate.

It is often difficult to put together a full cast, Seagraves said.

"We have plenty of theater going on. We've got, at this point, three entities that are regularly doing productions, and then we've got a couple of other people who are working toward adding to that," he said. "So there's plenty of theater, but we don't always have enough people interested in auditioning to share amongst us. Trying to find enough people who are willing to commit the time and talent to doing shows sometimes is a challenge."

This spring, the GCRC is putting on a production of "Annie."

"Auditions for that will be March 24 and 25, and there will be roles for all ages because we're hoping to have the adults play the adult roles and the kids play the orphans, and we can even use younger boys as street urchins and things like that," he said. "And we can use teenagers as servants in the Warbucks mansion, so we can use just about every age."

Auditions for Annie are 6:30 p.m. March 24 and 25 at Clifford Hope Auditorium, with performances taking place May 30, 31 and June 1.

"They can just show up at auditions, but they need to come prepared with a 30-second monologue and a one-minute song," Seagraves said.

Following that production, GCRC will be putting on a production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Aug. 1 and 2.

For more information, contact Seagraves at 276-1200.

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