Fallon has a long-standing tradition of Community Theater musical productions going back to the early 90s when a troup of talented, local thespians produced “Oliver” at the Churchill Arts Council Barkley Theater.
After a forced hiatus the past two years in deference to Covid, Community Theater is back in Fallon. The new drama teacher at Churchill County High School, her students, along with several community members have been working since late January to bring the old favorite, Freaky Friday, to life for the community audience.
We all remember the movie when an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. “Freaky Friday,” a musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic. By spending a day in each other's shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter.
Ashly Adams directs the show, with Jan Bice and David Ernst providing the music. Adams received her BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Secondary Education. She previously taught and directed for five years at Adams City High School in Colorado and five years at Spanish Springs High School. She has directed nine musicals and ten plays, including “Shrek the Musical,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Footloose.”
“When I was interviewing for the position,” said Adams, “Mr. Mike Hogan, mentioned that there had been a community play every other year and I was excited to carry on the tradition. I decided to hit the ground running in my first year here in Fallon with a community show, so I reached out to people I knew had been a part of it before and tried to spread the word on social media and in the community.”
Senior Kamiah Henning, like the entire cast, is very glad to be back on stage. She has been singing since she was five years old, a student of Dana Barton, and has performed in several previous community productions including “The Sound of Music,” “Annie,” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
“I’m really excited to be working with these really talented people. They are great role models. Summer and Timothy are amazing to be around and to learn from,” she said. “The play is funny, there is a lot of humor and adults can relate, but so will teens and even the little kids. It is very relatable, and the aspects are very real.”
Henning plans to attend the University of Nevada in the fall and will major in early education. She will continue to participate in the performing arts program as well. “Theater, singing, choir have been a big part of my life and I don’t want that to end with high school.”
Adams said her favorite part of the play is when Mike tells Katherine that Ellie can be mad. At the time Ellie is actually in Katherine's body and it is the first time she feels seen by an adult. She's been struggling to accept Mike into her family, but he gives her permission to feel what she feels and act like a teenager when she struggles to meet her mother’s high expectations for her.
“We spend a lot of time together, it’s like a little family,” said Henning. “This is how it has always been in all the productions; this one is no different.”
Cast and Crew
Ellie Blake: Kamiah Henning
Katherine Blake: Summer Stanton
Fletcher Blake: Braedon Mitchell
Mike: Timothy Garcia
Torrey Adams’ Mom: Shannon Anderson
Grandpa Gordon, Senor O’Brien, Well’s Dad: David Ernst
Grandma Helene, Mrs. Time: Trudy Dahl
Ms. Meyers, Officer Sitz, Gretchen’s Mom, Wedding Guest: Melissa Derby
Danielle, Mrs. Luckenbill, Officer Kowalski, Savannah’s Mom: Amber Housel
Dr. Ehrin, Wedding Guest, Pastor Bruno, Parker’s Dad: Amanda Petersen
Mr. Blumen, Hannah’s Dad: Jackson Moon
Gretchen: Kass Perrotta
Hannah: Kennadee Irving
Adam: James Sorensen
Savannah: Kelly Melancon
Parker Lewis: Matthew Melancon
Wells: Miles Henning
Laurel: Sofia Basurto
Savannah’s Followers: Sofia Basurto, Ambra Illiano
Wedding Guests: Leah Blake, Sofia Basurto, Ambra Illiano, Janie Irving, Elaine Lewis, Zoey Loughheed, Sandra Marquez Garcia, Sonora McInturff, Brooke Mitchell, Jackson Moon, Mayu Steinbaugh
Student Ensemble: Leah Blake, Sofia Basurto, Ambra Illiano, Sandra Marquez Garcia, Jackson Moon
Director: Ashley Adams
Music Director: Jan Bice & David Ernst
Choreographer: Suzette Benecke
Stage Manager: Megan Housel
Run Crew: April McCutcheon & Ashley Williams
Set Design: April McCutcheon
Props Master: Ember Henning
Set and props crews: Mrs. Adams’ Technical Theatre Class, Trudy Dahl, Brock Cecil, Timothy Garcia, April McCutcheon, Jackson Moon, Kass Perrotta, Shirl Thomas, & Ashley Williams
Costume Crew: Trillis Bake
Light Design: Ashley Adams
Light Board Operator: Keileene Kato
Spot Light Operators: Janie Irving, Elaine Lewis, Zoey Lougheed, & Mayu Steinbaugh
Sound: Joe Stieber & Keith Adams
Show Artwork: Ashley Williams
House Manager: Lori Souba
The cast and crew would like to thank the following people for their support in putting on the production:
To all of the family members that supported us by taking us to and from rehearsals, running lines, listening to us sing, having dinner early, putting kids to bed alone, and all the sacrifices it took for us to be involved in the show. Thank you for your support and patience through the rehearsal process. Your efforts are truly appreciated.
All of the people that lent props, costumes, and helped bring this show to life. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Special thanks to the CCSD School Board, Dr. Stephens, and CCHS Administrators for supporting our program and production.