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JUNEAU - Drama students at Juneau-Douglas High School are getting a taste of what it's like to be a cartoon character in their last production of the season, "Pecos Bill." Produced and designed by Lucas Hoiland and Michaela Moore, the play is geared toward children and their families.
Texas Tall Tale: JDHS students perform 'Pecos Bill' 051309 AE 1 CCW Staff Writer JUNEAU - Drama students at Juneau-Douglas High School are getting a taste of what it's like to be a cartoon character in their last production of the season, "Pecos Bill." Produced and designed by Lucas Hoiland and Michaela Moore, the play is geared toward children and their families.

Photos By Libby Sterling

The last Juneau-Douglas High School play of the season is "Pecos Bill," a Wild West comic tale.


Photos By Libby Sterling

The last Juneau-Douglas High School play of the season is "Pecos Bill," a Wild West comic tale.


Photos By Libby Sterling

The last Juneau-Douglas High School play of the season is "Pecos Bill," a Wild West comic tale.


Photos By Libby Sterling

All of the animal actors in the JDHS production of "Pecos Bill" had the chance to make their own costumes.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Story last updated at 5/13/2009 - 11:29 am

Texas Tall Tale: JDHS students perform 'Pecos Bill'

JUNEAU - Drama students at Juneau-Douglas High School are getting a taste of what it's like to be a cartoon character in their last production of the season, "Pecos Bill." Produced and designed by Lucas Hoiland and Michaela Moore, the play is geared toward children and their families.

"Pecos Bill" tells the story of a boy who loses his family, is raised by coyotes in the desert, and grows up to be one of the wildest cowboys that Texas has ever seen.

Moore, head of the JDHS drama department, said that "Pecos Bill" gives each of her students the chance to act "like a cartoon character come to life."

"Everything's got to be bigger and louder," Moore said. "The kids get a kick out of being so animated and wild."

The play features 35 cast members playing both human and animal parts. Junior Zoey Wilson said her favorite part about the play is how the animals and people interact with each other.

"It's so much fun to see how all this can be together in one play," Wilson said.

Wilson plays Slewfoot Sue, complete with artificial eyelashes and a bustled dress. She is primary a ballet dancer and has been in several other JDHS productions, but never in such a prominent role. She said she would like to pursue the performing arts in some form in the future.

Since the play is set in Texas, every actor must speak with a Southern accent. That hasn't been a problem for senior Monica Mondich, who plays Chuck Wagon Annie. She said that her mother and several of her friends have Southern accents, so it has been easy for her to pick up. She said she'd like to continue acting for fun while she attends college in Arkansas next year.

Senior Ty Yamaoka plays his first big speaking role as Pecos Bill. Originally from Portland, Or., Yamaoka has been in Juneau for about three years and hopes to move to Fairbanks after he graduates. He said he enjoys his role as Pecos Bill because he gets to "act ridiculous through the whole play."

"It's really over the top," Yamaoka said. "(Bill) starts out as a baby, then he turns into a coyote, then he's a cowboy but he's still kind of that baby and coyote man at the same time."

Moore described Yamaoka as an actor who has a good sense of his character.

"I think the kids are going to absolutely love him," Moore said.

Several characters from the animal kingdom make appearances in the play. All of the animal actors had the chance to make their own costumes.

Macrina Erickson plays a roadrunner who acts conceited and arrogant about what a beautiful bird she is. Her costume consists of various blue and white feather pieces that she hot-glued and pinned together. Her face is painted blue with feathery highlights and her head is topped with a beaked mask and more feathers.

Erickson is joined on stage by Jasmin Evans, who plays an armadillo. She used various fabric pieces, a burlap sack and a pillow to create the armadillo appearance. In order to get into character, she said she has to "hunch over and make inaudible grumbling noises."

Shanae'a Moore remains on stage during the entire play for her part. She plays a prairie dog who pops in and out of her hole throughout the play, switching back and forth between panic and jolliness. As part of her costume, she braids her hair into two prairie dog "ears" that sit atop her head.

Lydia Kline plays one of the coyotes of the pack. She created the ears and tails for each of the coyotes in the play.

"It's pretty fun being a coyote because I get to howl a lot," Kline said. "And I get the very last 'line' in the play, a howl."

There will be three performances of "Pecos Bill" this weekend, at 7 p.m. on May 15 and 16 and at 2 p.m. on May 16 at the JDHS auditorium. Tickets may be purchased at Hearthside Books, at the JDHS activities office and from cast members. The cost is $6 for kids, students and seniors and $8 for adults. Tickets will be available at the door for an additional $2.


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