Wy'east kids take to the stage


News intern

ODELL — The stage floor at Wy’east Middle School has been busy with seventh and eighth grade drama students actively working on their upcoming production of “The Haunting of Hathaway House” and “Charley’s Aunt,” showing at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

“Both classes have taken lots of responsibility putting together the costumes, the lights, the sounds, the sets, and learning their lines,” said drama teacher Tim Danforth.

From the set construction to all public relations, the students have learned much during class, as well as after school.

“Just the fact that I get to make something, and then show it to everyone is cool,” said seventh grader Jon Wadman.

Many students have found new experiences through the class, which taught them the basics of putting a production together. Both classes have gone over the process of set construction, how and what to select for sound and lighting effects, coaching on fundamental characterization, stage directing and blocking, and how to apply facial hair and stage make-up.

“It’s a lot more fun than sitting around and watching TV,” eighth grader Ana Frasier said.

These classes have been a chance to act for students like eighth grader Jon Strickland, who has always wanted to be in drama.

“I’m really pleased. These kids have put in lots of heart to make this a better production,” said Danforth. “This is new for most of them, and most have never been on stage.”

“At first, I didn’t think I’d like it. We had to stand up in front of the class,” Frasier said. “Now that we aren’t doing that anymore, it has been a lot of fun.”

Some students have walked away with more than just theatre knowledge.

“At first I didn’t know anyone. And now we are all friends,” said seventh grader Kai Severinsen. “It killed my stage fright, knowing everyone.”

Others are still a little bit anxious with anticipation of the performance.

“I’m nervous,” eighth grader Daniel Molina admitted, staring off stage. “I can picture myself standing on stage with all these people watching. But I can’t wait to see what it will be like to perform.”

Plenty of kids have the chance; the performances feature different casts both nights. (See Neighbors, page B7 this edition, for the full list.) Admission is by donation.

“I’m proud to be part of a school system that still has the choices and resources of the arts, music, shop, and life skills,” Danforth said.

Lights. Curtain. Action. These kids are ready for the world.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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