High school actors tackle play about love, friendship, tragedy

Nobody can make it alone, especially teenagers living with a disability.

Roberta Sam plays Junie Moon and Josh Cloudwalker is Warren in “Tell Me That You Love Me

Roberta Sam plays Junie Moon and Josh Cloudwalker is Warren in “Tell Me That You Love Me

Nobody can make it alone, especially teenagers living with a disability.

The South Whidbey High School Drama Department presents “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon,” a play about young outsiders. The show opens at the school’s auditorium theater at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4 and runs through the weekend.

“Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon,” by playwright D.D. Brooke and based on the novel by Marjorie Kellogg, tells the story of three social outcasts who meet in the hospital after each has suffered individual tragedies.

Junie Moon, Arthur and Warren have all been handicapped in some way, and decide to pool their meager resources and face the world together. Each of these characters has retained some bit of strength and humor, which they must use as survival tools in a sometimes hostile world.

This off-beat play about off-beat people takes the audience through a series of adventures in the lives of these young friends, and reveals both comic and tragic moments, while they all search for some semblance of a fulfilling life.

Drama teacher Don Wodjenski directs the play. He said he chose it because the story deals well with such social conventions as beauty, friendship, acceptance and love.

The universal themes, Wodjenski said, are those that everybody deals with at some point in their lives, especially teenagers, and the actors in the show have risen to the challenge of the play with aplomb.

“The principle characters — Junie, Arthur, Warren and Michael — develop relationships of friendship and love,” Wodjenski said.

“As the play progresses, those relationships reveal a strengthening and, hopefully, a lasting bond. In the process of rehearsal, Birdie [Roberta] Sam, Chad Reinkens, Josh Cloudwalker and Guy O’Connor have become more than actors reciting lines. In their effort to understand their characters’ relationships, they have developed personal friendships that clearly influence their onstage performances,” he said.

Wodjenski said he is proud of the cast’s hard work on this play, and invites the community to see a piece that has both themes of life’s sometimes harsher reality and the comedy that often comes out of such inevitable realties with the help of one’s friends.

The cast also includes Ruth Baez, Ben Nerison, Katie Ewing, Kacee Bailey, Justin Blasko, Carolyn Moore, Daryck Porter and Grace Mathew.

The show is directed by Wodjenski, with costumes and props by Sara Beust. Jeff Greene is the technical director, and Lon Peterman designed and built the sets. Publicity for the show is by Jennifer Hagerman.

The show runs at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-6, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.

Tickets are $5 at the door starting a half hour before show time for festival seating.

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