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Theater troupe's spring production features its largest cast and crew since pre-pandemic shows.

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Woodburn High School Theatre actors rehearse for the spring production, "A Wrinkle in Time." Caleb Larson, left, and K'Lynn Bryant play Calvin and Meg.In American author Madeleine L'Engle's memoir, "A Circle of Quiet," the author discusses an inspiration garnered unconsciously during a coast-to-coast camping trip in 1959.

That inspiration, at least in part, fueled the young-adult fiction book "A Wrinkle in Time," which she published in 1962 only after receiving 26 rejections.

"While we were on our 10-week camping trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back again, we drove through a world of deserts and buttes and leafless mountains, wholly new and alien to me. And suddenly into my mind came the names of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which," L'Engle said.

"But why did those names come to me just then, and from where?"

Wherever they came from, they went on to enchant millions of readers over the ensuing decades. After reading L'Engle's obituary in 2007, Huffington Post blogger Michael Melcher said: "If you haven't read 'A Wrinkle in Time,' you have missed out on one of the great experiences of childhood. It is practically the awesomest book ever. So go out and get a copy!"

There was also a Disney movie made, but of more local significance, "A Wrinkle in Time" will come to life on the Woodburn High School stage for four shows beginning April 29.

'A Wrinkle' in Woodburn

Woodburn High School Theatre will bring the Mrs. characters alive (Ms. for the screenplay), along with Meg, Charles Wallace, Calvin and company with a nifty moving set to backdrop the story's varied settings.PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Woodburn High School Theatre actors rehearse for the spring production, "A Wrinkle in Time." From left, Sandra Montanez Villamar as Mother, Angelo Rios as Charles Wallace and K'Lynn Bryant as Meg.

WHST Director Caleb Thurston notes that the play follows one of literature's most enduring young heroines, Meg Murry, as she joins forces with a bizarre group of neighbors to battle the forces of evil. Her goals are simple: rescue her missing father, save humanity and find herself along the way.

L'Engle's famous youth fantasy novel is presented in an inventive adaptation by James Sie.

Thurston said the production is perfect for the whole family and features the work of more than 40 student actors and technicians from across campus.

"That is back up to what we would regularly have (on set) before COVID," Thurston said.

Some of the characters include senior Caleb Larson playing Calvin O'Keefe, with K'Lynn Bryant as Meg Murry, Angelo Rios as Charles Wallace Murry and Sandra Montanez Villamar as Mother.

Whatsit, Who and Which will be performed respectively by Carmen Elsasser, Jada Thompkins and Afanasia Konev.

Larson said "Wrinkle" should provide much more visual appeal than the theaters' other productions of recent years, such as last fall's "Blithe Spirit."

As for Calvin?

"He's a sport, as he puts it, and a genetic anomaly," Larson said of his character. "He's considered popular at school, but that's not really him. … He plays basketball 'just because I'm tall.'"

Larson said Calvin is one of 11 kids in his family, so he finds what attention he needs for emotional nourishment outside the home.PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Woodburn High School's spring play will include a moving set to accommodate the varied and unique settings in "A Wrinkle in Time." Actors rehearsing above are, from left, Caleb Larson as Calvin O'Keefe, K'Lynn Bryant as Meg Murry and Angelo Rios as Charles Wallace Murry.

"All of the characters go through an arc, an awakening or realization of their own abilities and what people mean to the (universe)," he added.

Overall, Larson describes the settings as very abstract, moving through space and time, pointing out the wheels on the sets that afford adequate mobility to change settings quicky.

"It's a big challenge," Thurston said. "There is a lot of abstract movement with characters traveling through a lot of space and time, and even different planets."

The director added that the sound and visual effects help clarify to the audience what could otherwise prove prohibitively abstract.

Larson hopes the performances will convey the story's overarching beauty.

"Aside from everything else, hopefully (the audience) appreciates a high school theater pulling off a jovial and visual show, striving to go beyond our despair and our pain and realizing that love is all around us."

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Woodburn High School Theatre student actors rehearse for their spring production, "A Wrinkle in Time." From left, Angelo Rios as Charles Wallace Murry, K'Lynn Bryant as Meg Murry, Sandra Montanez Villamar as Mother and Caleb Larson as Calvin O'Keefe.

If you go

What: "A Wrinkle in Time," based on the novel by Madeleine L'Engle.

When: 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 29-30 and May 6; 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7

Where: WHS stage, 1785 N. Front St.

Cost: $5 general admission; free for Woodburn School District employees. Tickets can be purchased at the box office beginning 30 minutes prior to each performance.

More information: Contact Caleb Thurston at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 503-980-6275.

A Wrinkle in Time Cast

Meg: K'lynn Bryant

Calvin, Caleb Larson

Charles Wallace: Angelo Rios

Mother: Sandra Montanez Villamar

Father: Aaron Espinoza

Ms. Whatsit: Carmen Elsasser

Ms. Who: Jada Thompkins

Ms. Which: Afanasia Konev

Happy Medium: Izzy Galindo

Red Eyes: Thatcher Ohmart

Teacher /Aunt Beast: Daisy Garibay Espinoza

Chris Henderson/Billy: Tony Pascalar

Principal Jenkins: Carlos Mauricio

Ensemble (Camazatzions, Students, Beasts):

Angelica Mayorga Lopez, Noah Larson, Cesar Galindo, Adrianna Lyman, Mariah Morales Ortiz, Fern Freeland, Kayden Kent

Behind the scenes

Stage manager: AJ Christensen

Assistants: Kaelynn Carroll, Iran Miranda Moreno

Props: Ahnna-Marie Bansheim, Alanah Beaudre

Costumes: Damara Castaneda, Yaretzi Gonzalez, Ulises Rojas Reyes, Noelia Mendoza

Hair/makeup: Jolette Morales Mateos, Yezabeli Munoz-Lopez, Makayla Morl

Sound: Mario Santamaria

Set: Leo Constantino, Andrew Pelayo Rodriguez, Kai Cabrera, Eric Maciel, Leah Thompkins

Box office/marketing: Elliott Wolf Estrada, Mirella Chavez


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