Woody Allen production returns to Charles City

Cast and crew members lend a hand putting heavy wooden platforms in place for the set of “Don’t Drink the Water.”  Murray Harris and Linda Brant have supervised the building of the set for the upcoming spring play by CCHS students.  The Woody Allen comedy is set in an American embassy in the 1960s in some unnamed country behind the Iron Curtain. Contributed photo
Cast and crew members lend a hand putting heavy wooden platforms in place for the set of “Don’t Drink the Water.” Murray Harris and Linda Brant have supervised the building of the set for the upcoming spring play by CCHS students. The Woody Allen comedy is set in an American embassy in the 1960s in some unnamed country behind the Iron Curtain. Contributed photo
To the Press

Charles City High School drama department  students are in high gear to get their spring play ready by April 28 and 29. They are performing “Don’t Drink the Water” by Woody Allen, a comedy set in an American embassy behind the Iron Curtain in 1966. Set building was interrupted when the school needed the stage to host the Iowa Supreme Court, which heard a case in Charles City on April 4.

The cast is made up of 22 high school students. A family of American tourists, played by seniors Nathaniel Reams, Kaitlyn Pellymonter and Montana Schmidt, take refuge in the American embassy when they are accused of being spies after taking pictures near a military base.

Junior Joseph Iseneker, who played Shrek last fall, this time plays the inept son of the ambassador who is temporarily in charge of the embassy. Junior Ryan Wolfe plays Krojak, the head of the communist secret police.

The show, directed by Linda Brant and Mike Lembke, is one of Brant’s all time favorite comedies. She last directed it in Charles City in 1984.

Besides the humor of Woody Allen and costume styles from the sixties, the cast and crew are also enjoying having a rabbit in the cast. A priest who has taken refuge in the embassy, played by senior Ryan Parker, does magic tricks for a hobby, and, therefore, has a pet bunny (owned by Calista Trieber).

Tickets for the public performances will be general admission, sold at the door before the 7:30 p.m. performances on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students. There will be a free student matinee on Thursday, April 27, for 7th and 8th graders. The student performances are sponsored by the businesses who buy ads in the play program.

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