OCEAN program presents 'The Never-ending Story'

Posted 3/1/16

Adventures abound in "The Never-ending Story," presented in March by students in the Port Townsend School District’s OCEAN program.

"This is a classic hero-quest story," said director Rowen …

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OCEAN program presents 'The Never-ending Story'

Posted

Adventures abound in "The Never-ending Story," presented in March by students in the Port Townsend School District’s OCEAN program.

"This is a classic hero-quest story," said director Rowen DeLuna. "There's the call to action, the trials and tribulation, the doubt in oneself, the succeeding, and the quest – it's all there."

OCEAN, which stands for Opportunity, Community, Experience, Academics and Navigation, is an alternative learning environment that works closely with families and community. This year's play, co-directed by Kristina Whipple, takes place in the Port Townsend High School auditorium, instead of the gym at Mountain View Commons, where previous OCEAN plays have been staged.

"Rowen has the vision of the play in her wheelhouse, and I have the logistics, program info and fundraising in mine," said Whipple, adding that the production recently received a $1,400 grant from the Port Townsend Arts Commission.

"I'm really excited about the collaboration piece of this with the high school drama department," DeLuna said. They're sharing some sets as well as using the space.

There are about 20 kids taking part in the play. "Everybody who wants to be in the play gets to be in the play," said DeLuna. "This year, we have two female leads."

Cyra Wedmore plays Bastion, a quiet, bookish type who gets bullied, DeLuna said, "and through some adventures, discovers the book where the Never-ending Story is contained."

The hero, Atreyu, is portrayed by Zinnia Hansen. "Atreyu is a young woman who is just about to go through her rite of passage with her people, the people of the grassy plains, and become a buffalo hunter, when she is called into action by the childlike empress to save the land of Fantastica," DeLuna said. "There are lots and lots of magical creatures that Atreyu meets along the way."

The play's props include a giant spider puppet called Ygramul, which is operated by five actors working together, DeLuna said. "Ygramul has a bunch of babies," she added. "There are nine tiny spiderlets."

Tech director Lisa Doray's to-do list also includes creating a giant troll and a book that lights up. The play also includes some shadow puppetry.

Two of the OCEAN program's graduating seniors are also helping. Noah Phillips is in charge of light and sound design, and Tanner Matthew is doing makeup, hair and costume design.

Matthew recently received a scholarship to Cornish College of the Arts, and plans to start in its design program in the fall, DeLuna reported.

To donate to the OCEAN program, go online to

bit.ly/OCEANindiegogo. Students are also selling their own special blend of coffee, available from OCEAN students, for $12 a bag. They're also planning to sell it in the kiosk at the Port Townsend Food Co-op.

"The Never-ending Story" runs for two weekends, with showtimes at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5; 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 11-12; and 2 p.m., Sunday, March 13. All performances take place at the Port Townsend High School auditorium, 1500 Van Ness St., Port Townsend.

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