Hair-raising tale set for this week

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 10, 2003

Neveln Elementary's auditorium was a flurry of students, costumes and make-up Friday at the dress rehearsal of "Rapunzel."

A girl asked director Erin Shoen if her costume was ready yet.

A boy in another corner of the room cringed as two girls put make-up on his face.

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Shoen noticed student who walked into the room with her face painted gray with black stripes.

"Honey, you look like a cat," she said to the girl, who plays a jester in the play.

"How am I supposed to look?" she asked with a sigh. Shoen told her to use bright colors and the girl headed back to the hallway.

But the cast of 37 fourth and fifth graders soon settled into their roles in Mary Boettcher-Tate's stage adaptation of "Rapunzel."

The play follows the traditional story of Rapunzel, who becomes captured and trapped in a tower. But humor and a lesson of finding something good in everyone, despite their outside flaws, set this story apart.

Costumes were donated by Ellis and made by Shoen, Neveln Principal Jean McDermott and Shoen's mother, Shoen said.

Students tried out for the play in December and have been rehearsing since.

Brittany Wessels, a fifth grader, plays Rapunzel. She said she likes acting.

"You don't get to be yourself for one day," she said.

Other students looked forward to using their talents.

"I sing a song," said Alex Ruble, a fourth-grader who plays a jester.

"I get to do cartwheels and be goofy like I always am," said fifth-grader Ariel Reed, who plays Sam.

Behind the scenes, stage manager Jimmy Elleby, a fourth grader, controls the lights.

"Trying to see if I can spook anyone," is what Elleby is most excited about.

The students will perform for their peers today. The show opens to the public at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Neveln Elementary School auditorium.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at