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The Fairy Tale Misfits were on stage at the Plainview School on Thursday, May 5. The cast is pictured (front l to r:) Josiah Stum, Lydia Splitter, Paige Specht (next row l to r) Olivia Specht, Amy Schmidt (middle row l to r) Landon Ritter, Mark McClave, Susan Specht, Hailey Birt, Savannah Harkness, Jennifer Wilson. second to back row l to r) Ruth Fees, Ella Splitter, Destiny Cornelius, Susan Greenfield. (back row l to r) Ky Harkness, Misty Harkness, Elijah Harkness, Carol Allen, Alexa Enriquez, Dana Unruh, and Grant Specht.

Plainview Students, Staff, and Community Members Bring Down the House as "Fairy Tale Misfits"

By Betsy Barnett

May 11, 2022

In small rural schools, it takes the community to maintain the good things in life including promotion of the arts. Plainview School located in between the towns of Sheridan Lake and Towner in eastern Kiowa County knows this reality better than most and have always enjoyed the complete involvement of the surrounding communities.

Approximately 120 people packed into the Plainview gymnasium last Thursday to watch a community theater production entitled “Fairy Tale Misfits.” The production raised funds for each class at Plainview High School and will be used for such costly undertakings as Prom, graduation programming, and the annual senior trip.

An attendee of the production, Linly Stum, shared his thoughts on the enjoyable evening, “WOW! WOW! WOW! In my entire 80-some years, I have never observed a high school play as complex or with even a fraction of lines that had to be learned as the one we just witnessed at Plainview School. The staff, students and volunteers hit a home run with “Fairy Tale Misfits!” Congratulations! This makes me want to try even harder to save Plainview School.”

Before the production the community was treated to a good old-fashioned pancake supper prepared by Pam Sheldon, Annie Bray, Susan Greenfield and Susan Specht.

According to Misty Harkness, a Plainview parent as well as employee in the district, “Many people contributed to the play, but the driving forces were Jennifer Wilson and Ruth Fees, picking the play and doing a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work.”

The production, “Fairy Tale Misfits” was written by JEFF FLUHARTY. When a mysterious talking groundhog (Lydia Splitter) steals young Ellie’s (Paige Specht) homework, she takes off down a hole after it and finds herself in a place where nothing is as it seems — the Land of Rejected Fairy Tale Characters. Here, Ellie meets a crazy assortment of misfits who were cut from the fairy tales we all know and love.

There’s her shadow-fearing sidekick, Groundhog; Mac (Grant Specht), the eighth and world’s largest dwarf; Jacqueline (Olivia Specht), the great Giant Slayer armed with a magic polka-playing accordion; and more — Indecisive Goldilocks (Hailey Birt), Sleepless Beauty (Susan Greenfield), Little Red Robin Hood (Savannah Harkness), Fairy Godfather (Landon Ritter), and even Big Bad Platypus (Elijah Harkness). Groundhog and the rest of the misfits make a deal to help Ellie find her way back home if, in return, she writes them into stories that can be shared with others. But Queen White-Out (Susan Specht) and her eraser minions, Pink Pearl (Destiny Cornelius) and Big Mistake (Ella Splitter), have other plans. Will the misfits be erased forever, or will they find their own happily ever after?

Bursting with quirky humor and featuring a large cast of whimsical and endearing characters, Fairy Tale Misfits fits the bill for a large cast of young actors looking to deliver big laughs.

Other characters performing at the Plainview production included: Ms. Rosewood (Ruth Fees); Fork in the Road (Dana Unruh); Larry (Ky Harkness); Prince Appalling (Mark McClave); Little Inverted Mermaid (Alexa Enriquez); Origami Pork (Mark McClave); Vegetarian Witch (Carol Allen); Captain Chinook (Landon Ritter); Wonderful Stepmom (Destiny Cornelius); Sophisticated Troll (Elijah Harkness); Prince Raponio (Ky Harkness); Baby Bear (Mark McClave); Mama Bear (Misty Harkness); Papa Bear (Josiah Stum); Keeper’s Assistant (Amy Schmidt); Assistant’s Helpers (Josiah Stum and Landon Ritter)

The set, costumes and props were created by Susan Specht, Carol Allen, Susan Greenfield, Paige Specht, Olivia Specht, Amy Schmidt, Ella Splitter, Lydia Splitter and various other Plainview students.

Kyle Mills ran the curtains. Kayla Wanderlingh helped with makeup the night of and took pictures.

Harkness, who was involved throughout the production said, “The performance went really well—everyone knew their lines and did a wonderful job portraying their various characters. Some students learned for the first time, and others were reminded, just how much work goes into a play and also just how much that hard work pays off. It was very rewarding to see their acting skills being well received by the audience that came out to support them.”

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