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Plymouth students 'putting 120 percent into their characters'

Cary Ashby • Updated Mar 29, 2017 at 9:18 PM

PLYMOUTH — Marcee Madera considers herself a humble person.

But the high-school sophomore has to find her inner diva and protective mother to play Inferna in “Dr. Evil and the Basket of Kittens.” Nearly 20 students from Plymouth-Shiloh Local Schools will perform the comedy at 7 p.m. Friday and again at 2 p.m. Sunday in the cafetorium of the elementary school.

“She (Inferna) has an air of arrogance I’ve been working on. She believes her son (Dr. Evil) will be the best evil scientist that he can be,” said Madera, who also plays a vampire.

To truly “get” Dr. Evil’s mother, the daughter of Lisa and Hector said she has to play her with an exaggerated sense of pride. After all, her son was the “malice-dictorian” at the V.I.L.E. Academy, the Villain Institute of Learning Evil.

“He was the ‘worst’ in his class,” Madera said with a big smile. “I’m very proud of his accomplishment.”

Michelle Roblin is directing the comedy by Brian D. Taylor. After teaching first grade for 17 years, she taught English/language arts and social studies at Plymouth-Shiloh Middle School this year.

Sophomore Roy “Ory” Walters plays Dr. Evil, who is hosting a special meeting to show off his latest thermal ray to the council that funds his projects. But his plan goes awry when a basket of kittens arrives at his doorstep.

When Roblin read the script, she knew she found a good fit for her cast.

“All of the kids have been with me from middle school to high school,” said Roblin, who is directing Plymouth plays for the ninth year. “I always do comedies. … I try not to do very well known plays for our small school.”

The cast includes mostly underclassmen. Roblin said all the actors and actresses “are very enthusiastic about it,” noting all the students who came out for the plays have a passion for performing.

One of the younger cast members is sophomore Emma Burrows, a home-schooled student for the last five years. A woman who is friends with Roblin also attends Burrows’ church. After seeing the teenager in a skit, she put her in touch with the director.

Burrows said she enjoys the fun that drama brings in a group setting while “putting myself into someone else’s life.”

“I like the goofy, far-out characters the best,” she added. 

She plays the weather girl and Pappa Tuppa Were. Burrows also been the understudy for freshman Raegan Alsept, who plays Dr. Evil’s hunchback assistant.

“Dr. Evil is trying to destroy Cleveland through his thermal ray, so the weather girl gives the weather conditions. … I’m trying to make the weather girl a ridiculously peppy person,” Burrows said.

For Pappa Tuppa Were, the daughter of Terri Bowers is working on her “man voice.”

“He is the patriarch of the were-hyena family and they are Dr. Evil’s neighbors,” she said.

Madera recently rehearsed the opening scene with Burrows filling in as Dr. Evil’s assistant.

“I’m honestly impressed with how well everyone is doing. Everybody is putting 120 percent into bringing their characters to life,” Madera said. 

“Dr. Evil and the Basket of Kittens” is being produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc. from Englewood, Colo.

“It’s not your standard play. It’s very funny. Things happen that you wouldn’t expect to happen,” Burrows said.

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