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This weekend, Friday March 24 and Saturday, March 25, the Mount Ayr Drama Club will put on a show entitled ‘Hillbilly Reunion’.
The play follows the Hawleys on a surprise visit to their distant cousin and his wife. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse as the cousins are hosting a Princess.
After unsuccessfully removing the unwanted guests, the Hawley’s must attend charm school, which goes comically awry.
This play also marks the final play for longtime director, Shaun Kniep.
Kniep is resigning after having directed two shows a year since 1999, totaling 24 years and more than 48 plays involving hundreds of students.
“I started teaching and directing two shows a year in 1999. 24 years – 48+ plays, and hundreds of students involved. It will be a change for my whole family,” said Kniep. “Jillian and Tessa started coming to rehearsals when they were two weeks old. They grew up and I raised them in this auditorium. I worked with hundreds of students in this auditorium and for me – it will always have a very special piece of my heart.”
Drama has been a labor of love for Kniep, who remembers being in a play with only three female characters during her time as a performer.
She wanted to make sure every student that tried out would have a place on the stage or behind the scenes.
“When I came back to teach at MACHS in 2002, I wanted to be sure that every kid could be involved in drama if they wanted to be. While one play I did in high school only had three female characters, it was my goal to include everyone who was willing to try out,” said Kniep. “My hope was that every student always felt that they were wanted and could be included in drama because I absolutely have wanted them to be involved.”
Kniep will still be teaching and coaching speech, but for now, she takes her final bow as director of drama this weekend.
“I have loved every second and every kid involved in this 24 year ride – even when I yelled, made the kids start over for talking too much backstage, my blood pressure raised, or I just got after them for doing dumb stuff. These kids and this program have been my life and my world,” said Kniep. “I will miss everything about it, but I am ready for the new adventure, too. I love these kids – all of these kids – through all of the years. Thank you for sharing them with me.”
Friday night you can attend the play beginning at 7 p.m. or catch the show Saturday at 7 p.m.
Cast and Crew
Josephine Seabury – society dragon – Mya Sackett
Victoria – maid – Kaylie Shields
Nancy – another – Breya Nickle
Lester – butler – Adan Trujillo
Joe – House painter – Braydon Hale
Tom – construction worker – Tyler Martin
Maggie – construction worker – Mackenzie Knox
Karla – construction worker – Kacie Larsen
Lois Fontaine – interior decorator – Josie Vanderflught
Amy Pepper – Miss Fontaine’s assistant – Ashlyn Murphy
Carol Reed – writer – Lauren Triggs
Charlotte Seabury – spoiled teenager -Kaylun Victor
Charles Seabury – businessman – Tucker Knox
Miss Claypool – secretary – Anne Newton
Mrs. Rhineharbor III – society dragon – Alexis Greenland
Gram Hawley – lively mountain woman – Jillian Kniep
Bubba – young hillbilly – Ryce Reynolds
Rooster – another – Riley Stark
Chester – another hillbilly – Jackson Ruggles
Jethro – yet another – Tate Dugan
Alice – stange child – Hayden Ruggles
Dana Sue – another wild one- Olivia Hatfield
Cindy Lou- Gram’s pretty granddaughter – Tegan Streit
Maudie – carries bubbles everywhere – Tessa Kniep
Clem – Bubba’s brother – Jaydon Knight
Miss Loop – IRS agent – Mallory Weehler
Miss Dime – IRS Agent – Janna Irving
Taylor – Security – Aidan Murphy
Aldrich – Security – Jaixen Frost
Countess Hepburn – Lady in Waiting – Natalie Schaefer
Margaret – Cook – Karlie Larsen
Leighton – Assistant Cook – Ashlyn Byer
Bunny Boosterspangle –sorority sister- Linsie Barnes
Janie Appenzell – another – Zoey Larsen
Thief – unwelcomed visitor – Abby Larson
Thief – unwelcomed visitor – Sayuri Meadors
Thief – unwelcomed visitor – Kaley Murphy
Philllip Bogart – private investigator – Drew Ehlen
Rose Hepburn – asst. private investigator – Kate James
Popeye – photographer – Olivia Huntington
Molly – bag lady – Karly Elwood
Andy –street person – Allison Anderson
Darcy – street person – Kami Willis
Sammy – another – Liliana Aguilar
Connie – street person – Kyleigh Conklin
Miss Montgomery – Charm teacher – Becca Dolecheck
Miss Poppy – Charm school assistant – Ava England
Pizza Delivery Man – delivers pizza – Jaxson Greene
Mrs. Proudradish –social dragon – Anna Greenland
Mrs. Quickshuffle – another – Harper Whittington
Mrs. Digby – another social dragon – Koda Henle
Mrs. Bronwyn – another social dragon – Alana Doolittle
Mrs. Whitaker – another social dragon – Ella Waske
Princess Ann – royalty – Reegan Waldeier
Lights: Tanner Streit
Sound: Jaize Frost and Aubree Shields
Makeup: Macey Bowen and Kianna Piaxon
Costumes: Alexa Bailey and Lillie Curry
Set: Trevin Victor, Birk Willis, and Colton Dredge
Curtains: Derek Jones and Kensie Barnes