By Tim Leeds
A wind will be in the Havre High School auditorium, a wind that's been building since the beginning of the school year.
The Havre High School Theatre is producing Alan Bennett's stage adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic novel "The Wind in the Willows" Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the high school auditorium.
"It's a huge show," said director Jay Pyette.
So huge, the cast has been working on it for 3 months, cutting the high school's normal three-production year to two. The cast includes 40 high school and eight elementary students, and Pyette said the technical and set crews add another 30 students to the production.
Pyette said the adaptation is very accurate to the novel, detailing the adventures of Rat, played by Sam Soyer, Mole, played by Gina Williams, Badger, played by Dallas Crossley, Toad, played by Hans Williams and Albert the Horse, played by Megan Billingsley.
The set covers the entire stage and creeps into the orchestra pit, with rotating sections to create different scenes of the play.
Pyette added a new element to this production, with the cast touring local schools. Half of the cast went to the schools in Big Sandy, KG, Blue Sky and Chester on Monday, with the other half traveling east to Chinook and Harlem. Part of the cast toured the Havre elementary schools Tuesday.
The cast members performed scenes from the play and held workshops and acting exercises with the schools' students during the tours.
"The tours have been really exciting," Pyette said. "For us it's something new."
He encouraged everyone to attend the production, at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a matinee production at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
"It is a children's play," he said. "We've really been encouraging children to come, but adults will enjoy it too. I think the thing I like the best about this is there's a great deal of humor adults would enjoy as well as the students."
Admission to the play is $6 for adults, and $4 for students and seniors.