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31 Years Later and WOW, Local Theater is Still Pulling in Crowds

Huck Finn's "High Tailin' Adventures" Set Sail in Sidney for Three Straight Days

All aboard a raft fresh off of the Mississippi River, Huck Finn's High Tailin' Adventures splashed into Sidney this past weekend. Based on the classic novel written by Mark Twain and adapted by Susan Pargman, the children's production kicked off Way Out West's 31st year as a community theatre in Sidney.

A twist on the original tale published in 1884, Huck Finn's High Tailin' Adventures tells the story of a young boy searching for a better life while helping his friend, Jim, escape the debilitating confines of slavery. Both set sail to discover the meaning of friendship and freedom.

Rehearsals for the production began in April after auditions, "These kids worked very hard for long hours, we're so proud of their efforts and what they have accomplished in the few short weeks we've had together," Jeremy Narjes, assistant director had to say, "This is a program our community needs, and we do everything we can to make it succeed."

With 250 people attending the show between the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dates, WOW was able to deliver another successful local production. "This is a special place, without this theatre some of these friendships would never exist," Erin Huddleston, head director of Huck Finn mentions, "I love watching our veteran actors take the littles under their wings. Watching someone's face light up as they nail their line for the first time are priceless moments and memories."

This year was special as the "senior" actors helped with set construction and design as well, "It's been so fun watching the tables turn and having our older actors help with painting the set," Huddleston continues. Ellie Hollingshead contributed to the charisma onstage, and the ambience off; inspired by art in their own life, Hollingshead designed and painted the raft scene with the help of their friends. "I've made inseparable bonds through WOW shows, the memories we make here are always the highlight of my Summer," Hollingshead says about their 11th and final Way Out West children's production, "If you want to make fun and lasting memories, and you like to laugh a lot, you should join WOW."

Leaving the WOW stage for a bigger one in New York City, Madi Packer has sentimental feelings associated with her summers and WOW, "This is my goodbye letter to my final kid's show and a goodbye to the place where I fell in love with acting," Packer notes, "This program taught me how to break out of my shell; especially Erin, she encouraged me and taught me how to embarrassed on stage," Packer adds, "If I hadn't joined WOW I might have never taken the leap that inspired me to reach for my dreams in NYC. Way Out West helped me not only find that confidence but also lent a hand in my lasting friendships; with the younger generation – enjoy it while you can. Stick with it and you will learn more about yourself."

Way Out West is always seeking more help, on and off stage; from set design, costumes, and tailoring to even backstage assistance, our local community theatre is in need of a helping hand.

If you would like to audition, assist with costuming and set, or want to join the board for Way Out West, you may contact them through their Facebook page or by calling 308-249-4789 or 308-250-0515.

Author Bio

Kelsey Arrington, Staff Reporter

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Cheyenne County native, local business owner.


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