Wild West drama hits Pendragon stage tonight
SARANAC LAKE — The young actors at Pendragon swooned, gasped, fainted and fought as they rehearsed the wild western melodrama “Alias Smedley Pewtree, Or The Villain Of Glitter Gulch” before an audience of Will Rogers residents on Thursday.
The actors are set to perform the play again tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Pendragon Theatre.
Director Kent Streed said the young actors have a knack for the campy, over-the-top theatrics of melodrama plays.
“They get it,” he said.
Ellie Henderson, 10, who plays Constance, a “suck-up rich lady,” said she loves that she gets to faint on stage.
“That’s one of my favorite parts,” Ellie said. “It kind of hurts, honestly.”
Jacki Walkow, 11, plays the preacher’s emotionally distraught widow.
Walkow is looking forward to the “multiple crying sessions” in the script.
Streed said in preparation, they watched Dudley Do-Right shorts and silent films featuring Harold Lloyd and Mary Pickford.
Dallas Ames, 9, plays Goldie, a sweet and kind woman whose heart may be misguided. Ames started acting after seeing her sister perform on stage and getting inspired.
Will Henderson, 6, plays the obnoxious child Irving. He clarified that he’s only obnoxious on stage. Will was also inspired to act after watching his sister in a play. Ellie said acting runs in their family. Their mom also acts, so she got inspired.
Eloise Zobel, 10, who plays Mustache Agnus, local sheriff, said they keep coming back to perform at Pendragon because of Streed. They like his direction and guidance. Zobel also likes the chance to play around with the script and be creative.
Streed said Mason Estling, 11, who plays the assayer, added the funniest part of the whole play.
Summer Cranker, 14, who plays the mysterious old flower woman, has been acting since 2013.
“I love the feeling of being on stage and performing in front of a crowd,” Cranker said.
Oliver Halasz, 12, plays Smedley Pewtree, the evil banker with a hidden heart.
“It’s always fun to be an evil character,” he said.
He’s looking forward to the multiple fight scenes packed into the play, getting knocked out and getting his licks in, too.
Ami Leipzig, 11, plays Rock Quarry, a local hero with a secret revealed in a twist ending. Many of the actors are looking forward to showing off the surprising conclusion to the story.
Streed said audience participation will play a big role in the performances. Attendees are asked to boo or cheer for certain characters and simulate the windy sounds of a blizzard when the door to the Nugget tavern opens.
There is a suggested $10 donation at the door.