Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

'Tom Sawyer' hitting St. Jude's student theater


April 26, 2019

Courtesy photo

Trayden Riley, left, playing Tom Sawyer, watches as other St. Jude Thaddeus School students rehearse whitewashing a fence in the school's production of "Tom Sawyer."

On the 10th anniversary of St. Jude Thaddeus School producing a large-scale spring play, the students are offering people the chance to see a classic tale of youthful adventure, drama and hijinks with an adaptation of Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemens' "Tom Sawyer."

"This is a first-rate play," St. Jude's Principal Mike Haugen said. " ... If you're into theater at all, it's definitely something you want to see. You will be thoroughly entertained."

Kim O'Leary, a junior high teacher at the school who co-directed it with Jeff Ralph, said the 22 junior high students in the play have been rehearsing since January.

She said, as is a tradition of the productions, the students will first perform it this afternoon for the school and visiting family members there for Grandparents Day, then it will open tonight, Saturday and Sunday for the general public.

She said the students have done a great job.

"The set is astounding; the kids are astounding," she said.

Courtesy photo

Trayden Riley, playing Tom Sawyer, and Catherina Kaftan, playing Becky Thatcher, rehearse a scene from the St. Jude Thaddeus School production of "Tom Sawyer."

The student actors have rehearsed the play and, under the direction of Ralph, also built the set and do all the set changes during the play. They also do all the acting, she said.

"There isn't an adult up on stage with them," she said.

The play is a good adaptation of the novel, she said.

"It's about his adventure and some of the trouble he and Huck Finn get in," O'Leary said, adding, "We have a villain in it."

Ralph said he is pleased with the 10th-anniversary production.

"This is one of the best plays we've ever done," he said. "A lot of drama, adventure, comedy and definitely family-oriented.

"If you've never seen a firefly before in your life this is the best chance you're ever going to have at seeing it," he added.

The play opens at 7 each night in St. Jude's Havre Central Gymnasium. Tickets are $8.


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