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Pacelli prepares to stage 'Androcles and the Lion'

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By Becky Ludvigsen

teenbeat@postbulletin.com

Drama is one of many extracurricular activities most high schools offer.

It provides an opportunity for students of all kinds to exhibit their many talents. Besides acting, students often have the opportunity to help direct, create the set, create costumes, run the lights, and do many other things.

Right now, students at Pacelli are diligently working on producing "Androcles and the Lion." The play is a musical comedy written by Dave Barton and Matt Bond. Pacelli freshman Chris Bergstrom stars as Androcles. Other students in the play include seniors Chrissy Kluczny (the Lion) and Stephanie Bednar (Mama). Senior Michelle Mino has once again volunteered to be a student director, accompanying an excellent director, Jared Peterson.

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Peterson has been the play director at Pacelli for the last four years. Under his direction, students have put on many memorable plays, including "Putting on Heirs," "Rest Assured" and "Murder Medium Rare." In his spare time, he teaches history and psychology classes at Pacelli. He's also the adviser for the student council.

Pacelli usually puts on two plays a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. This year is no exception. This past fall, students from Lyle joined students from Pacelli to perform "Murder in the Manor," a dinner theater. Dinner theaters differ from all other plays because they offer both entertainment and a meal for the audience. Pacelli's drama department has tackled many genres, including murder mysteries, comedies and musicals.

Also pitching in for this spring's production of "Androcles" are Chris Denison, Alecia Mai and Matt Mai. Denison is helping out as the stage manager, and Matt Mai is assisting with the stage. Matt's older sister Alecia is a talented choreographer for Pacelli musical productions. She choreographed much of "Tied to the Tracks" two years ago.

"Androcles and the Lion" is based on the age-old Roman story of Androcles. A lion spared Androcles from death in the gladiator arena in return for an earlier favor. The lion had managed to get a thorn stuck in its paw, and Androcles removed the thorn to ease the beast's pain.

Mixed into the fun are Hermione, Androcles' nagging wife and her equally nagging mother. Hermione constantly reminds her husband that he married above his station and that he should be grateful.

"Androcles" is filled with slaves and Roman citizens. Even Caesar (senior Jordan Christensen) makes an appearance. There are countless other students, including a handful from Queen of Angels' Middle School, who have been putting in their time to help round out the cast and make it all possible.

"Androcles and the Lion" is full of promising laughs and will certainly be another unforgettable production by Pacelli's drama department. It's a sad moment, however, for many of the seniors involved. "Androcles" will be the last play at Pacelli for them. Be sure to catch the seniors and the rest of the drama department this April at Pacelli.

Becky Ludvigsen is a senior from Austin Pacelli High School. To respond to an opinion column, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail.

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