Club is all set to show off its dramatic flair

KINGSTON — It’s been a long and trying three months, but the cast and crew of “The Curious Savage” are ready for their debut.

Members of North Kitsap Boys & Girls Club have been rehearsing since October for their first theatrical performance, which takes place next weekend, and at the same time, gives the kids the new experiences that the NKB&G Club is all about.

“It encourages them to really develop character, to really delve into the complexities of their character,” KJH drama teacher and play director Toby Kemper said of doing theater.

“The Curious Savage” is a post-World War 2 situation comedy that takes place in a rest home for people who have suffered traumatic experiences. The wealthy Mrs. Savage is being committed by her stepchildren in a devious attempt to get control of her estate, $10 million in negotiable bonds. The play is at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 and Jan. 29 at KJH with a special performance Jan. 27 for the cast’s family members and KJH staff.

Kemper said it’s been fun to work with this group, especially those who have never done theater before. He finds working with kids through drama is a good way to reach young adults in the beginning of their adolescence.

“It’s fun to see the light bulb go off,” he said. “I think a lot of them have made a lot of discoveries about themselves as actors.”

And since rehearsals started, the kids have come along way.

“We have had some struggles,” said stage manager and ninth grader Kelsey Morgan. There has been trouble with memorizing lines and cues, but now that the costumes are nearly complete and there is a set for the stage, the play is physically coming together.

“I really appreciate how the actors work,” she added.

The play isn’t the only new thing this quarter, as NKB&G club assistant director Brandy Balkwell was hired last fall to help director Rose Norberg.

A senior at North Kitsap High School, she enjoys working with the teens.

“I have a real passion for kids and working with young kids,” she said. “It’s a real cool environment.”

Being around junior high-age kids, she remembers what she was like at that age and it’s nothing like these kids today.

“They are so different than what I was in junior high,” she said. “They really are great kids.”

Part of the objective for the club is to present new activities each quarter, so Norberg and Balkwell plan to drop hip-hop dancing for next quarter and offer a sewing/knitting club, a film studies group and a newly revised homework club, which will bring in mentors from North Kitsap High School.

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