* 'Mr. Roberts' opens Friday, Jan. 7, at Thomas Worthington
By PAMELA WILLIS
Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011
6:05 PM EST
Thomas Worthington High School's student actors will sail
the high seas in a timeless comedy about sailors, officers
and high jinks onboard the U.S.S. Reluctant during World War
Performances of Mr. Roberts, written by Thomas Heggen and
Josh Logan, take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan.
7-8 and 14-15, in the Cardinal Theatre at the high school,
300 W. Dublin-Granville Road.
Tickets are $8 at the door.
Director Bronwyn Hopton said Mr. Roberts was adapted from a
1946 novel by Thomas Heggen.
"Film and movie director Josh Logan adapted the book for a
stage play, which ran 1,157 performances on Broadway,
winning Henry Fonda a Tony award for best actor," she said.
She said Logan further adapted the play for a film in 1955,
starting Fonda and Jack Lemmon, directed by John Ford and
The play's action takes place aboard a U.S. Navy cargo ship
near the end of World War II.
Set designer David Hopton said there were some unique
challenges to building the set.
"The set is a full-scale, 44-foot front half of a two-deck
cargo ship with arena-theater seating," he said. "The ship
has a working cargo mast, cargo bay, opening crew and
captain's quarters and defensive anti-aircraft guns."
Hopton said he started with "a lot of research time."
"I researched World War II," he said. "The guns on the ship,
for instance, are 37mm AA guns that swivel and elevate by
hand, and you want the look to be believable.
Conceptualizing the shapes that capture ship features yet
can be opened up for audience stage viewing was challenging.
"By going to arena staging and keeping a low floor profile,
you can almost put the audience on board with the sailors,"
he said. "We were also working to a deadline -- we do a show
every 31/2 weeks, and this show had to be built over the
Cast members are David Aspery as Mr. Roberts and Warren
Smith as the Captain, with Jason Rosensteel, Mark Allison,
Terell Selman, Gabe Nunez, George Vogt, Eli Rousculp, Jacob
Roodvoets, Michael Heironimus, Hayden Giesseman, Conrad
Allen, Eric Lawell, Jacob Spears, Kyle McKinnon, Emma Crowe,
Zack Tarantelli, Branden Ledbetter and Topher Huff.
Student director is Kelley Sass, with technical supporters
Taylor Harris, Brooke Dendiu, Monica Gonzalez, Casey Keegan
and Brooke Miller.
Lighting design is by Russ Blain.
Students assisting with set construction are student tech
directors John and Maggie Cellars, Michael Cline, Joey
Gilligan, Beanie Hallfrisch, Eric Huedepohl, Devonna Huynh,
Taylor Gidley, Molly Malone, Morgan Melton, Danielle Moreau,
Eli Rousculp, Molly Sowash, Matt Watkins, Conrad Allen,
Alexa Barton, Emma Crowe, Brent Eastman, Gwen Fuller, Emma
Galasso, Caroline Kissel, Taylor Harris, Michael Heironimus
and Kendra Helton.
Also assisting with the set are Emily Henthorne, Eric Lawell,
Brandon Ledbetter, Taylor LeMaster, Hannah Francis, Djenab
Conde, Emma Mayhood, Emily McDaniel, David McDevitt, Brooke
Miller, Tara Murphy, Libby Newberry, Grace Putka, Bennet
Overmyer, Mary Ritchey, Jake Roodvoetrs, Jason Rosensteel,
Blessing Rutonesha, Kelley Sass, Del-Vaunte Scott, Michaela
Schoal, Warren Smith, Jake Spears, Kristi Serbu, Colin
Moore, Anton Teuful, Brianna Terhune, Alex Valverde, Lea
Vander Molen, Isak Ahiqvist and George Vogt.