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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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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