IHSMTA, new musical announcements excite Theatre Troupe

by Ryan Van Gilst    ryavang18@pceagles.org

PC Theatre Troupe had some exciting announcements this past month. The 2017 fall production of Les Miserables has received recognition in several areas from the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards. The technical team was given the Outstanding Technical and Creative Achievement Award. This is the highest technical award available, and only about ten schools are selected for it.

Junior Brianna Jansen was the lighting chair for the show. “Winning the technical award was very exciting. All the long hours and the time it took to smash my ideas, Mr. Van Peursem’s ideas and Daryl Van Zee’s ideas into an amazing product truly paid off. The entire technical team is honored to have received this award,” said Jansen.

Pictures from the show will be featured in a powerpoint at the showcase along with other award winning schools.

Four students were selected for Special Recognition in their roles on stage: seniors Thomas Dykstra (Jean Valjean) and Mara Juffer (Cosette),  junior Emma Stravers (Madame Thenardier), and sophomore Colby De Vries (Innkeeper Thenardier.) “This recognition was an extreme honor, as my role as Cosette was my first large role in a musical production,” said Juffer. “It is great to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication I put into the show. I learned so much during my time as Cosette, and I am excited that other people could see how much I have grown.”

Along with these honors, PC can send any three students from their cast to perform in either the opening or closing numbers of the showcase on June 4. The Showcase takes place at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center and will feature students from 68 schools statewide that are part of the program.

Looking ahead to next fall, director Marlo Van Peursem recently announced the title for the 2018 musical. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the musical Oklahoma! tells the story of fun-loving Aunt Eller and her niece who has two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McClain and the sinister farmhand Jud Fry. Van Peursem chose the script for its timeless appeal. “We wanted to return to the classics, and it’s a friendly, multi-generational musical. Lots of fun, lots of dancing—even a tap dance number,” said Van Peursem.

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