Theatre Returns to Jenks High School

By Aaron Siebert

It has been 1 year and 5 months since the last stage play from the Jenks High School Theatre department, Deadwood Dick, wrapped up. The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to last year’s Spring show, The Game’s AFoot. 

But with the world opening up again, it is finally time for the stage to follow suit. The drama teachers, Kevin Hurst and Jeannie Boudiette, decided to bring back the canceled play from last year. 

“We haven’t done this show in over ten years,” says Hurst, “and I wanted something fun and everybody likes a good murder mystery with lots of different characters in it.” 

The Game’s AFoot is a play written by Ken Ludwig about a group of actors who perform Sherlock Holmes on Broadway. The story takes place on Christmas Eve, 1936, a night that soon goes downhill as the actor’s Holiday party quickly becomes fatal. Actor WIlliam Gillette must channel his inner Sherlock Holmes in order to solve this whodunit. The genre of the play is comedy/mystery. 

The stage is a lavishly constructed recreation of William Gillette’s living room. It consists of all the props necessary for a theatrical murder mystery. From the descending staircase to the weapons wall; all created by the hardworking and talented tech crew. 

“Gillette Caste is an actual castle and place” says Kevin Hurst. “It’s very stylized to be perfect for a murder mystery and has a gothic edge to it as well.” 

Jenks Tech crew hard at work building the set.

It was decided that the production would be double casted in order to provide a larger amount of roles. This means that the show will have two different casts doing the same play with the same direction. 

“Our department is so large and the show only has eight characters,” says Kevin Hurst. “we haven’t done a show in over a year and I couldn’t justify doing a play with only eight roles. So I decided to double cast in order to include more students.”

Cast List 

William Gillette – Kolin Graham, Jacob Batscha 

Martha Gillette Ava, Brandes, Hattie Colvert 

Felix Geisel – Bryce Olsen, Jacob Shaddock

Madge Geisel – Olivia Lopez, Destiny Sevrinus 

Simon Bright – Ramon Lopez, Aaron Siebert 

Aggie Wheeler – Hailey Bobbit, Alix Hudspeth

Inspector Goring – Alena Russlle, Shea Langley 

Daria Chase – Autumn Villanueva, Anabel White

A suit of armor decorating the caste themed setting.

Each character is completely different from the next, and with the cast being doubled there are more unique personalities on stage than you can imagine. 

“I play a forty-something year old actress and she is very spunky and dry and witty and I love her to death.” says Lopez, “I like how she’s very outspoken and wry. She doesn’t hold back when it comes to things and is very catty when it comes to the other characters.”  

For some members of the cast this show is bittersweet, as this is the final show the seniors will get to be a part of in all their years in the department. 

“It’s exciting and sad at the same time.” says Kolin Graham, “This is my ninth show, third one leading, and it’s wild to think about after all these shows. So it’s my big Hoo-ra. The show has everything and something for anyone.”

Spectators from the tech crew watching rehearsals.

A question remains present for many interested in the show: what COVID precautions are being taken during production. While the play is going to be performed without masks for the audience, during rehearsal the cast wears masks whenever possible. The size of the audience has been decreased to approximately 70-80 seats. 

So if you are questioning a fun, thrilling, and engaging way to spend an evening, the mystery is solved. The Game’s AFoot is premiering Wednesday, April 28th and Running through Saturday, May 1st. Each day will have a 7:00 showing and Saturday will have an extra matinee performance at 2:00. 

Tickets cost $7 at presale and $10 at door. See the drama department for more info. Tickets can also be purchased directly from cast members. 

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