HRVHS actors stage ‘Not So Powerful Jedi’

There’s still time to see one more production this school year from the drama department of Hood River Valley High School.

“The Not So Powerful Jedi” runs this weekend. The show is a melodramatic spoof written by senior Hans Severinsen, one of the high school’s premier performers over the past four years.

Severinsen began writing the play as a freshman and has spent four years refining it.

The cast of 24 — mostly freshmen and sophomores — brings the 90-minute show to life at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bowe Theater. The performances are free. Severinsen sees the production as an important training ground for his younger fellow thespians.

“I wanted to give the kids an opportunity for the experience, to get the feel for theater, and training through being in a show.

“There is no better way of getting experience than just being in a show,” said Severinsen, last seen on the HRVHS stage as Prospero in “The Tempest.”

The play follows characters based on “Star Wars” heroes and villains onto a distant planet that needs saving from an arch villain.

“I always thought it funny that all the Star Wars characters had immense talent to use force, and as a freshman I thought it would be great to have a Star Wars character who was un-powerful,” Severinsen said.

Severinsen created a Jedi Knight who “can’t use The Force on demand, but he sometimes uses it when he doesn’t mean to.” Objects go flying at the wrong times. By the end of the play he has “saved the planet and learned how to use the force,” Severinsen said.

“Probably the biggest example of how this is a spoof is that there is a humongous musical finale when it really isn’t a musical at all,” Severinsen said. “People should come with totally open minds to a pretty corny ending.”

Severinsen also starred in one of the program’s cornier productions in recent years, last spring’s detective spoof “Bullshot Crummond.”

His new play is “‘Bullshot Crummond’ goofy,” he said, “with a little Star Wars and a little goofier,” Severinsen said.

The show stars freshman Jake Hobbes as “Oafy Wan,” freshman Laura Christiansen as “Natalie,” and senior Jonathan McMorran as “XIDOUS.”

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