Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

October 16, 2012

50 students star in "The King and I"


The Herald-Tribune

-- — Expect a royal experience in the Oldenburg Academy Auditorium Nov. 9-10, at 7 p.m. when the OA Drama Club presents the timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I,” reports Kayla Wessling, OA marketing communications coordinator.

More than 50 OA and community grade school students are excited about bringing this wonderful show to life.

Senior Samantha Jarman sums up the experience nicely, “Being part of the cast is extra fun because everyone really becomes a family, and we all work together to put on a fantastic show!”

The cast and the crew includes seniors Broderick Witt, who is filling the student director position, and Laurel Kelnhofer, choreographer, who is designing and teaching the production dances.

The cast is led by seniors Patrick Wunderlich, as the serious and intellectual king; Samantha Jarman, playing the confident teacher Anna; and Alexa Fangman, as the star-crossed lover Tuptim. 

Principal roles are filled by seniors Natalie Pottschmidt as head wife Lady Thiang; Jay Shi as Lun Tha, Tuptim’s ill-fated lover; Angelo Lipps, as the Kralahome, the king’s prime minister; Theresa Brunsman as the angel/George; John Batterton as Captain Orton; Sarah Cornett as Little Eva; Christopher Hockaden as Sir Edward Ramsey; and Josh Knapp as the king’s secretary Phra Alack.

Also, juniors Gabrielle Mungcal as Simon Legree and Tabitha Shenk as Topsy; sophomore  Jeremy Kelnhofer as the interpreter; freshman Carly Wagers as Uncle Thomas; St. Louis School student Nathan Hurm as Louis, Anna’s son; and South Decatur Junior High School student Justin Bates as the crown prince Chulalongkorn.

Playing wives, children, dancers, priests and guards are Jade Allen, Emma Bischoff, Shannon Deal, Courtney Eckstein, Jacob Fairfield, Mikaela Fangman, Isabell Fitzgerald, Marisa Fullenkamp, Ava Geers, Olivia Geers, Lily Gellenbeck, Marie Hoog, Decker Horninger, Emily Koch, Elizabeth Miller, Matthew Miller, Ava Obermeyer, Lizzy Puttmann, Paris Raab, Jayden Rose, Kirsten Stenger, Justine Stenger, Kayla Stone, Allison Storms, Evelyn Storms, Kate Walke, Josie Wesseler and Kathryn Wilder.

Backstage help is supplied by LeAnn Bannigan, Zach Gorman, Mara Grieshop, Mark Hoog, Claire McCamey, Brian Ulrich, Emily Ulrich and Sophie Wesseler. Karla Ariens is the show’s rehearsal and production pianist. Set decoration is under the direction of Diana Brunsman, and Kris Wampler will conduct the orchestra.

Considered one of the all-time marvels of musical theater, “The King and I” is based on Margaret Landon’s novel, “Anna and the King of Siam,” which was inspired by Anna Leonowens’ account of her experiences teaching the many children of the King of Siam. The conflict of East versus West makes for a dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale. The show features a “show-within-a show” ballet and a dazzling Rodgers and Hammerstein score, including “Getting to Know You,” “I Have Dreamed” and “Shall We Dance.” 

Reserved tickets may be purchased during regular school hours by contacting Jackie Fitzgerald at 934-4440, Ext. 221; or fitz@oldenburgacademy.org. The office will be closed during fall break (through Oct. 19).

Due to the show’s popularity, advance ticket purchases are recommended. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door on show nights.

Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students.