By Tim Leeds
A new youth community theater may be in Havre's future. The trial run of the troupe can be seen this Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Havre High auditorium.
A non-school affiliated group of sixth graders will perform "Don't Give Up!", written by Carmine Schafer of Havre.
The play, with Rachel Minnick and Katon LaSalle in the lead roles, is about a girl named Kelly who has trouble dealing with her peers in the 1950s. Jake, her guardian angel, grants her a wish to be in another place and time.
After being in Havre in 1999 for a while, she realizes that although times have changed, her problems have not. Once she is transported back to Kansas in the '50s, Jake and all of her friends from both times gather to tell her "Never give up on life."
Schafer said that recent difficulties in her own life inspired her to write the play. She said she had experience with student drama while teaching at Lustre, Mont., and hopes that this will turn into an opportunity to start a drama group for younger students.
While there is a good drama program at the high school, she said, she would like to give the opportunities to younger students in the community as well.
Depending on response and support, she said, she plans to try to continue these plays.
Schafer said she first advertised the auditions last fall. Over 40 sixth grade students responded, she said, and all were given parts in the play. Community response has also been extensive, she said.
The Havre Middle School and the First Lutheran Church in Havre have both donated facilities for practice, and the Salvation Army in Havre has helped with transportation. The secretaries at the middle school were also helpful with passing notices to students, she said.
While there is no charge for the play, Schafer said, donations at the door will be greatly appreciated. She said these donations will be distributed to the groups which donated help to the production.
Schafer, who organized the production, is directing the play with co-directors Katrina Frederick, Judy Williams, and Beth Boyum. Assistant directors are Tiffany Gleason, Samantha Pollington, Christy Doll and Jacob Lorang. Lights producer is Mikyla Veis and the sound/music producer is Chris Durward.
Schafer said she would like to thank the First Lutheran Church, the Havre Middle School and its secretarial staff, Havre High School and Lt. William Ware of the Salvation Army. She said a special thanks goes out to Mary Seline.