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How the West was Fun explores love, deception with a lot of laughs

September 21, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor (editor@dysartreporter.com) , Dysart Reporter

Members of the Wolf Creek Players theatre group transformed the auditorium of Union Middle School into the Wild West as they presented "How the West was Fun" this past weekend.

The play follows a cowboy named Curly and a supporting cast of dancehall ladies, a deceitful medicine man and other hilarious characters as Curly tries his best to woo the love of his life, Miss Lily. Played by Zach Ambrose, Curly and majority of the characters in the play take on southern drawls to transport their audience to the 1870s.

"Curly is a cowpoke who is quite stupid, but in love with Miss Lily and nothing in the world can stop him to gets what he wants," Ambrose said. "The southern accent took some time. Last week is when I finally perfect it. Getting into the character was pretty easy because I feel I'm pretty slow and it fits."

Article Photos

Dr. Sasquatch (Richard Arp) convinces the well-mannered, yet not-so-bright Curly (Zach Ambrose) to buy a love potion to get the girl of his dreams, Ms. Lily.

The Wolf Creek Players started rehearsing for the play six weeks ago on Sunday, Monday and Thursdays. The cast would get together at the United Methodist Church in town to go through lines and eventually went through two acts at a time. The rehearsals moved to Union Middle School on Sunday of last week to practice on the stage they would perform on every day that week.

"We've never done a Western before and this one has never been done in our area. It's something new, something different," Director Deb Kloster said. "We had new faces that had never performed with us before and people returning from previous performances."

The cast included Richard Arp, a three-year veteran playing the role of Dr. Sasquatch, who tricks Curly into buying a fake love potion to cure his troubles with Miss Lily and make her fall madly in love with him.

"Dr. Sasquatch is a medicine man from the 1870s that only cares for himself and the money he can make," Arp said. "He didn't care about what he did to anyone else as long as he came out ahead.

Originally, Dr. Sasquatch wasn't a part Arp wanted originally because of the difficulty and took a little bit of time to get down. He memorized 160 lines and also had to interact with many different characters, including his reluctant partner-in-crime Princess Grinning Fox. Other difficulties arose for the cast this year as well.

"It was a challenge to rehearse because we lost St. Joes and had to find another practice area," Kloster said. "We were shifted around to different places and it wasn't quite what some of these actors were used to. We had one week to practice here."

But the cast enjoyed rehearsals together, working with what props and sets they could buy at rummage sales, Goodwill or simply make themselves. "How the West was Fun" came to life over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, feeding off the laughs of the audience to get through the production.

"We really enjoyed each other and the laughs from the crowds," Arp said. "Watching everyone learn their parts was fun and full of laughs. We've done plays at convents and this was different to play a Western. It was fantastic to use a good quality stage here at Union."

"I loved hearing the audience love and seeing our actors grow into characters," Kloster said. "I know they can do things they never thought they could do on stage."

As Curly's luck would have it, an inheritance does more to attract the ladies of the town more than any fake love potion could ever and he comes out the winner in the end, except for a little bit of American history he's about to become part of in an infamous battle in the Wild West. After being sought out by Kloster for the role, Ambrose is happy he didn't miss out.

"My reaction with this play was that this didn't seem all that interesting," Ambrose said. "Then I started reading the script and I couldn't stop laughing. I absolutely loved it. I loved spending time with everybody here and you can't replace that for anything. It was fun going through the lines and getting the southern pronunciation down."

Photos from the Sunday performance are available on the Dysart Reporter Facebook page to view and download.

 
 

 

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