FHS Theatre stages ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

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Flathead High School’s Theatre Acting 3 class will present Victor Hugo’s famous story, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 9 and 10.

The cast will take the stage 6:27 p.m. in the David M. Hashley Theatre.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the FHS Main Office, Photo Video Plus and, if still available, at the door.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” explores the story of Archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, who takes in an orphan child when others only saw him as a beast. He is a pious man who struggles with his inner convictions, and his love for someone he can’t have,” Director and Acting 3 Instructor Wendy Putzler said. “It tells the story of the deformed Quasimodo, who grows with love in his heart even though the rest of the world has turned away from him, and of Esmeralda, whose life-long persecution does not stop her from finding love. Finally, it tells the tale of Pierre, who only hopes to bring beauty to the world.”

In this stage adaptation, written by popular playwright Tim Kelly, all of the memorable fictional characters from Victor Hugo’s classic novel are represented, but this is not your Disney version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

“As a director, I wanted to tell a story about the oppressed — whether it was a disability or a dysfunction.” Putzler said. “‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ tells that story. There is pain and hardship, and dark moments where Esmeralda is tortured and then sent to the executioner. It is not a light-hearted, family-friendly show, but the script does speak of love and even glimpses of hope.

“I hope the audience leaves with a better understanding of the power of mob mentality — the destruction it commits and the hate it spreads. I hope the audience puts themselves in the shoes of the oppressed and takes time to see life … views … and values from a different point of view — from the heart of another. I hope they understand that doing what’s right does matter and that in the end love prevails, love rules, and love wins.”

In Acting 3, students learn and practice a variety of theater skills and study the relationship between the play’s themes and the actions of the characters within the play. Through a full-length production, the students explore the process of bringing a script to life, including all design aspects, rehearsal techniques as well as other production elements.

Acting 3 is the Directing and Design class and before students begin the production process, they all complete their first International Baccalaureate Theatre Assessment on a World Theatre Tradition. These students have studied and discovered numerous world theatrical traditions and designed many aspects of this production. Junior Sabrina Orr designed and collaborated on costumes and the set for this show. She is also building the puppet for the Court of Miracles scene.

The cast of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” includes Chase Ammirata, Abigail Brooks, Dalton Brubaker, Samantha Brubaker, Rylee Burkhart, Rebecca Charlesworth, Isaac Glace, Bryn Hammer, Kimberly Hammond, Kirya Henderson, Korbyn Howe, Sami Huang, Rylie Martin, Matthew Nairn, Sabrina Orr, Cameron Price, Olivia Purvis, Emmeline Schow, Justin Turner and Dade Wendt.

Behind the scenes, Sabrina Orr, Daniel Edelen, Lydia Wood, Cahira McDowall, Rebekah Hopp, Marie Holden, Angeleigh Storr, Serena Keil, Seth Rogan, Kay Gibbs, James Francis and Alyssa Johnson make up the stage, lighting and sound crew.

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