Rip Van Winkle wakes up at Chugiak

School’s theater season opens with a classic


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Slayton St. Pierre plays the title character in the school’s production of the Washington Irving classic about a man who falls asleep for 20 years.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS REES

Sure, teenagers like their sleep. But 20 years?

Chugiak High junior Slayton St. Pierre will pretend to wake from a two-decade snooze in the upcoming production or the Washington Irving classic “Rip Van Winkle,” which opens Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the Steve Primis Auditorium.

“When I wake up, I don’t recognize anyone and they don’t recognize me,” said Slayton, who will don a long, gray beard to portray Van Winkle.

Junior Matea Williams, who plays Van Winkle’s daughter, said the play explores what happens after Van Winkle returns from his lengthy hiatus into the woods.

“It’s more about his relationship with his family,” she said.

Director Chris Rees said he hopes the show will appeal to audiences young and old alike.

“I think it’ll appeal to all ages,” he said.

Rees said he’s got a cast of 18 Chugiak students for the play, which also shows on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. He’s also got two more students running lights and sound, and three others on the stage crew.

Rees said he’s got a good mix of veterans (Williams and St. Pierre have been in several previous Chugiak productions) and newcomers just starting out in theater.

“It’s a pretty talented group,” he said.

Cost for the play is $6 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for children 12 and under.

St. Pierre said the play’s cast has been working diligently to get ready for opening night, with older actors helping the younger ones learn the ropes.

“We all kind of look out for each other,” he said.

Williams said she thinks audiences will respond well to the play, which she described as a mix of drama and comic moments.

“It’s most just like a good story,” she said. “I enjoy it.”

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