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Forest Grove High School opens comedic production of 'A Company of Wayward Saints' on March 8.

COURTESY PHOTO: JOHN ANDERBERG - 'A Company of Wayward Saints' at Forest Grove High School features  Joshua King, Elanor Wilger, Andres Melgar, Madison Howarth, Daniel Collins, Kevin Calderon, Katy Schlesser, Aubrey Crouch and Carly Watters.Forest Grove High School drama department's production of "A Company of Wayward Saints" celebrates the ups and downs of acting.

A troupe of actors, traveling for way too long, are starting to become tired and frustrated with one another, but a duke says if they perform a story he would like to see, he will pay for them to go home.

Cue peril — and laughs — to follow.

This show isn't like others by the school, because of its personal connection to John Anderberg, the drama director.

Before he taught in Forest Grove, Anderberg's high school did its own production, but Anderberg was never in the play even though he adored it, he said.

The production is written by George Herman, a local playwright from Lake Oswego, whom Anderberg later came to know through what seemed like fate, he said.

"The funny thing is, I was never in it — even though I loved it — but years later, my wife was stage-managing at Theatre in the Grove and the playwright's daughter, Lisa Herman-Gagnon, was in the show, and they became really good friends," Anderberg said. "After my wife and I started our own theater company, Lisa did it with us and George Herman came to see our production of it. Since then, I've always had it in the back of my mind for Forest Grove."

The show revolves around a commedia dell'arte group, a 16th- to 18th-century Italian theater tradition celebrating a traveling ensemble cast and improv, paving the way to slapstick comedy in modern-day entertainment.

Bringing these characters to life are a small cast comprised of Forest Grove High students Joshua King, Elanor Wilger, Andres Melgar, Madison Howarth, Daniel Collins, Kevin Calderon, Katy Schlesser, Aubrey Crouch and Carly Watters.

If anyone loves and appreciates the art form of theater, they will enjoy "A Company of Wayward Saints," Anderberg said.

"The students are so excited about it, and they love the local Oregon connection," he said. "It is a challenging piece, because you are playing these actors, and it brings a different level of acting."

The show opens Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m., and continues on March 9, March 14, March 15 and March 16, with all shows at 7 p.m. at Forest Grove High School, 1401 Nichols Lane, Forest Grove.

The Saturday, March 9, show will have a celebration after the show to pay tribute to Mickey Johnson, a retired drama teacher in Forest Grove.

By Janae Easlon
Features Editor
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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