“The Mouse That Roared” Preview

SDA’s Drama Production class is wasting no time in starting off 2015 with its production of “The Mouse That Roared,” set to open this Thursday with subsequent shows this Friday and Saturday.

“The Mouse That Roared,” adapted from the 1955 novel by Leonard Wibberley, is a political satire wherein an impoverished nation declares war on the United States in the hopes of being defeated and receiving financial aid. The play is inspired by the events proceeding World War II, including the Cold War and subsequent nuclear arms race.

Theatre teacher Stephanie Siers was partially drawn to the show because it offered a new genre for her students. “I like to include variety in the show season,” she said, “so this seemed to fit with some of the other shows I had already selected.” She also found it an appealing choice due to its extensive cast, which paired well with the large number of students in the Drama Production class.

For senior Tricia Navigato, the stage manager, the overall size of the show prompted several difficulties for the technician staff. “With most of the students in the class being in the show, we had to pull students from our Thespian club to run the many set changes,” she said.

“The play takes place in multiple locations,” said Siers, “so designing and building set pieces that would allow for seamless and efficient transitions, but still suggest the location, was a challenge.”

While the show was cast back in September, the class did not begin rehearsing until mid-October, after the conclusion of the murder mystery “The Mousetrap.” Siers said that the rehearsal process has been an extensive one, particularly because the students had to be educated about the historical meanings behind many of the situations and lines of dialogue.

“Our student dramaturges [the designated researchers for the show] presented many power points with helpful information that allowed students to become familiar with the world of the play,” said Siers.

As an actor, junior Maggie Lombard has to balance two roles, three costume changes, and a handful of set and prop changes throughout the show. “It’s difficult to keep track of them all,” she said, admitting that the “hilarious onstage goofs” only help make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Despite any hardships, Siers is proud with where the cast and crew have taken the show. “Watching my students take a script and turn in into a successful, fun, entertaining, memorable production is always rewarding,” she said. With “The Mouse that Roared,” , she has found that the technical designs are “upbeat” and “colorful,” while maintaining historical accuracy, and the actors have dedicated themselves to developing “comical characters that make bold physical choices.”

When asked about what she wants audience members to take from the show, Siers answered, “My hope is that the play evokes emotion and is entertaining. It is a lighthearted comedy that makes you think.”

Added Lombard, “…and you get to see a robotic mouse zoom across the stage.”

Tickets for “The Mouse That Roared” are being sold in front of the PAC at lunch, $7for students and $15 for adults, as well as online at seatyourself.biz/sandieguito. The show runs at 7 p.m. Jan. 8-10.