Greek mythology comes to life

Gruening set to stage original show


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David Knudsen, left, playing the role of Ares, and Ambyr O’Neill, Artemis, act out a scene from “The Missing Piece of Pi” on Feb. 22. The show opens Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. at Gruening Middle School.

MIKE NESPER

Greek mythology, comedy and singing will collide this weekend at Gruening Middle School when the original production of “The Missing Piece of Pi” is performed.

Written and directed by theater teacher Vicky Otte, the play follows seven immortals living on Mount Olympus as they attempt to control the love lives of the residents of Athens.

“Of course, it goes horribly, horribly wrong,” Otte said.

For the seventh-graders — who are currently studying Greek Mythology in class — the play is more than an after-school activity.

“It’s nice because it matches up with our seventh grade curriculum,” Otte said. “It’s an enrichment activity.”

That’s one reason Otte chose to focus on ancient Greece. Another was to have a chorus, which allowed for a larger cast.

“This may be the one and only play some of these kids are in,” Otte said.

The show — complete with ninjas and killer bees — features more than 40 students in the cast.

Otte created the basic outline of the play over the summer and wrote it over Christmas break. This marks Otte’s fourth play she’s written while at Gruening.

“That’s my thing,” she said.

There’s no better feeling than seeing her own creation come to life on stage, Otte said.

“It’s very gratifying to see the end result,” she said.

But Otte isn’t the only one with influence over her plays.

“The kids rise up and make it their own,” she said. “It becomes a shared creation.”

Gruening will perform “The Missing Piece of Pi” on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. and twice Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m. and 7. Tickets are $5 and children six and younger are free.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727.

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