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Worthington High School to present 'Beowulf'

WORTHINGTON -- The backstage of the Memorial Auditorium looked exactly how it should two weeks before the Worthington High School fall play -- boys with Viking Helmets on, another armed with a sword and girls giggling at a joke someone from the group had made.

A few feet away, two students were aligning a wooden board on what seemed like a prop.

"Get your props together," said play director Gillian Singler as she instructed the group.

The cast of "Beowulf" found their places on stage and not long after, they were rehearsing their lines.

"We've always done more comedies but I thought it would be fun to go back to something serious," Singler explained. "I've had a few students from the past few years and I've seen their abilities. I think they're capable of something like this."

Caleb Dirksen who plays Beowulf is no stranger to theater. Dirksen, a high school junior has been involved in plays since fourth grade and more recently, was a cast member for the community musical, "Beauty and the Beast."

"It's been going pretty good -- the lines are not too bad," he said. "My stage fright usually happens after I've done the performance because I wonder what people thought."

First time cast member Jorge Fuentes was not nervous for the audition and doesn't think he will have the case of stage-fright.

"I've never been in a play so I thought since I like acting, why not (audition)?" he said. "I play Hunding and Wiglaf -- Hunding is the father and 50 years later Wiglaf takes over."

The 13-member cast have been practicing for almost two months since the school year started. While almost half of them are relatively new to theater, Singler said they've been mentored by the more seasoned cast members.

As a relatively smaller group, their have multi-faceted roles in the play. Some have dual roles and several members are also acting as the backstage crew.

"Some of the smaller roles are duplicated so really, they all have a big part in the play," Singler added.

She admitted that while it has been challenging for students to memorize their lines as well as props for each scene, the group is almost ready for their performance next week.

Those who've watched the movie but not read the book can expect a twist to the play.

"It's nothing like the movie," Singler said about the play adapted by Gayanne Ramsden. "He adapted the play to the way he thinks it was originally told."

Beowulf will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12 at Memorial Auditorium. There is an admission fee.