Mound Westonka theatre presents ‘The Diviners’

By Lorrie Ham
FOR THE LAKER

The MWHS Theatre Department is proud to present “The Diviners” by Jim Leonard, Jr. on March 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 12 at 2 p.m. Religion, friendship and tragedy all play a part in this production.

The story is set in the early days of the depression in a small southern Indiana town named Zion, where Buddy Layman is a mentally-challenged boy whose sweet nature touches most people he meets. One day a stranger named C.C. Showers passes through Zion looking for work and food. C.C. takes an immediate liking to Buddy and vice versa. C.C. is able to relate to Buddy in ways that most people aren’t. The two become close friends and C.C. soon finds himself as Buddy’s mentor and teacher. Jennie Mae is attracted to C.C., and though he likes her, Jennie Mae isn’t the only single girl near Zion that finds C.C. a catch of a man.

The town’s dry goods owner also has her eye set on bringing old-fashioned revival to the community. The local diner owner would love to see the church rebuilt – and all the Sunday customers it would bring to her establishment. CC’s relationship with the people of the town changes drastically when they learned that he was a former preacher who has given up preaching. That knowledge changes everything and leads to a horrible tragedy. 

“This is such a meaningful and challenging piece, and I am already extremely proud of the dedication that the students have shown despite the fact that we haven’t even reached performances yet!” said assistant director Meagan Lenz. 

Cast members include eighth-grader Josh Nkhata as Clint Allen, eighth-grader John Wombacher as Buddy Layman, senior Charley Hagen as C.C. Showers, sophomore Joey Colianni, Jr. as Ferris Layman, junior Piper Bruce as Jennie Mae Layman, junior Cameron Fields as Basil Bennett, sophomore Sarah Brammer as Luella Bennett, senior Tori McCann as Goldie Short, sophomore Emma Jordahl as Norma Henshaw, sophomore Tia Meyer as Darlene Henshaw, sophomore Nick Drilling as Melvin Wilder, freshman Elmo Fernandez-Armstrong as Dewey Maples, senior Megan Martin as Lucille Fairbanks and freshman Destiny Utecht as Beatrice Jones.

“The three seniors in this year’s cast are such great representatives of students who have been involved in so many different aspects of theatre productions over the past few years,” said Lenz. “Their dedication, energy and enthusiasm in the program will certainly be missed.”

“The Diviners” is directed by Steven Meerdink with Lenz as assistant director and Jamie Harms as the costumer.

Lenz added that the cast would like to dedicate this show to the memory of school board Vice Chair Ann Bremer. “She was an incredible supporter of all arts programs at the high school, especially the performing arts – never missing a single show or performance,” said Lenz. “She will be deeply missed.”

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and available at http://westonka-activities.com/spring_play.