‘The Foreigner’ visits David Douglas stage

Here’s a “sneak preview” of a witty physical comedy, filled with fast-paced action and loads of laughs, that opens on March 8 …

Rehearsing a scene from The Foreigner, David Douglas High student actors James Wolfe (playing Owen Musser), Rebecca Daigle (resort proprietor Betty Meeks), London Bauman (Sgt. Froggy LeSueur) look on – as Brian Ott (Rev. David Marshall Lee) and Kelsey Milks (Catherine Simms) try to figure out why Karsten Montgomery (Charlie Baker) says holding a water glass on his head is a custom of his homeland. It amuses Amanda Schreiter (Ellie Simms).

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Another delightful comedy is coming to the David Douglas High School (DDHS) stage, starting on the second weekend in March. It’s called The Foreigner.

“This show is a timeless classic of the American theater,” said DDHS theater instructor, and the show’s director, Michael Givler – while taking a break from rehearsal.

Director Michael Givler suggests a staging touch to smooth out a scene in the upcoming show, The Foreigner.

“It shows great acting skills, with scenes reminiscent of the famous Marx Brothers film, ‘Duck Soup’. It’s based on a timeless theme – how newcomers try to integrate into the American culture.”

The audience gets in on the joke right from the start, and sees the action unfolding and developing throughout. “It’s a great lighthearted comedy that does keep the audience guessing about how it will all work out,” Givler told East Portland News.

DDHS Theater Craft students prepare set materials in the workshop ...

… while Theater Manager and set designer Mark Taylor works on beams for the “fishing lodge”.

The characters include a pair of British gentleman – one of whom they claim is from an exotic foreign country, and can’t speak or understand English – who have come to visit a Southern fishing lodge.

Other characters are a spoiled but introspective heiress, and a Southern belle. Audiences will wonder why the Reverend is seemingly a good-natured preacher, but seems to have a dark side.

Add to the mix a simpleton – and the property owner who wants to convert the fishing lodge where this all takes place into a Ku Klux Klan meeting place!

Alternate cast members Sarah Granberg (playing Catherine Simms), Arielle Stuart (Betty Meeks), and Ian Booth (Charlie Baker) help Amanda Schreiter (Ellie Simms) up, from under the fishing lodge’s floorboards.

In a departure from many of their past shows, this production of The Foreigner features two different casts – who take the stage, every other night, during the show’s run.

“The first mission of our department is to train actors,” Givler explained. “During casting, we found we had a great group of student actors – enough talent to create separate casts. Having two casts provides more opportunities for these talented student actors to perform on stage.”

Givler assured, “No matter which cast you see, you’ll have a thoroughly enjoyable theater experience.”

Student actors Connor Riggs, Ethan Archer and Ed Curtis work on a scene from The Foreigner.

Opens March 8
The Foreigner plays on March 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m.; and there’s a Family Matinee on March 10 at 2:30 p.m. The show runs again the long weekend of March 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Reserve your tickets now, online: CLICK HERE. Or, stop by the Theater Box Office from 3 until 5:30 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday-Friday (school days), an hour before show time, or call (503) 261-8270 for reservations and tickets. It’s at the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 SE 130th Avenue (Between SE Stark and Division Streets).

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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