Moreau’s mad worldPublished 9:28pm Monday, December 2, 2013
King’s Fork High School students will bring to life H.G. Wells’ classic science-fiction work “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” with four stage performances starting Thursday.
The play is based on Wells’ 1896 novel about a shipwrecked man who finds himself on an island where the title character fashions human-like beings from animals.
“The story is, basically, a mad scientist tries to turn animals into humans,” said drama teacher Jennifer Miguel, play director.
“We have updated it from the 1800s to the modern day. We are still using the same setting of an island.”
The story contains a lesson, Miguel said: beware the dangers of taking science too far.
A cast and crew of 25 from the school’s Dog House Players drama club will perform 7 p.m. shows in the auditorium Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while a 2 p.m. matinee is also scheduled for Saturday.
Students have been busy creating the island set, and it’s taking some elaborate makeup and prosthetics for those playing Moreau’s hideous creations.
One of those, Marc Sullivan, plays Leopard Man. Sullivan is no stranger to the King’s Fork stage but says his non-speaking role is taking some coming to grips with.
“Most of what I do is facial,” Sullivan said. “Particularly with Leopard Man, most of the time I’m moving around on all fours. Humans weren’t meant to do that.”
In his first time on the stage, Zachary Erwin plays Dr. Jacob Montgomery, an Englishman who becomes an outcast after “an untold incident involving drinking and a foggy night.”
“Dr. Moreau offers him a job experimenting on animals and turning them into humans,” Erwin continued.
Erwin, who has ambitions of becoming a voice actor, said he has been researching his character to bring him more accurately to life.
On the other side of the curtain, stage manager Layla Atkins said she will be working to make sure actors are in the right place at the right time. “I’m her (Miguel’s) right hand,” she said.
After six weeks of rehearsals — according to Miguel — and mere days before the opening, Sullivan said the students are all nervous.
“But it’s going to be flawless,” he predicted. “That’s what happens: your nerves get really high, but when you get on stage it melts away.”
Tickets for all shows are $5 at the door.