The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Big Sandy Community Play; The Beginning of a New Yearly Experience


May 1, 2019

The first play that the Big Sandy Theater brought to town, Bedtime Stories (as Told by Our Dad) (Who Messed Them UP) written by Ed Monk, was an enormous success. The play was easy to hear and easier to follow. It was funny and every single actor knew their lines. You could see that they enjoyed the play themselves.

Classical music played while we found our seats and waited for Bedtime Stories to start. My granddaughter who was sitting next to me said, "it's 6:01 they're late." But then the lights went down and she said excitedly, "Here we go, here we go!!!" There was a spot light on the bed with a rocking chair to the left.

Three kids played by Lauri Silvan, Liana Janssen, and Abbey Sietsema laughed while running down the isle of the auditorium and then across the stage before jumping on the bed signally the start of the play. The premise is the father, played by Erik Sietsema, needs to get his three girls to sleep before they wake up his pregnant wife. He's exhausted and before the girls will go to sleep they make him promise to tell them three stories.

The first story he tells them is The Princess and the Pea. The Queen, played by Karli Phillips, said, "Who wants to be a queen", and tells her young prince played by Jaesun Yirsa he must find a wife. The two princesses are played by Lyndee Worrall, and Heather Sherburn are of course undesirable! The maid played by London Keane is pressed by the prime minister, played Karen Reinertson, to manipulate and lie to the prince.

She doesn't want to but she is finally persuaded. The prince, wanting to make sure she is an honorable princess, said to put a "can of peas" under her mattress to find out if she is of royal blood. To make sure she stays in her bed the prince sleeps outside her door all night. The prince snores very loudly and this is what keeps the maid from sleeping. In the morning, the prince proposes to the pretend princess, but she can't keep the ruse up. She confesses to the prince she is just a maid, but the prince falls in love with her because of her honesty.

The seconded story the father told was the Boy who Cried Dinosaur. The boy Wilber, played by James Yirsa is bored just being a shepherd. He protects the sheep played by Kacey Weaver, Kennedy Keane, Isaac Goodman, Belle Goodman, Bridger Keane, and Parker Yirsa. Hoarse the Dinosaur shows up wanting to eat the sheep and Wilber is very afraid of the dinosaur and yells for help. His father, Everett Works and his mother, Samantha Bjornestad, the major, played by Kodi-Jo Phillips and the Captain of the militia, played by Elise Hartley, and all the militia Eryn Harley, Warren Hartley, Astrid Ketchum Tristan Cox and Lyndee Worrall came to his cry for help. However, they did not believe there was a dinosaur so they just disciplined him and told him not to lie again. Of course, the dinosaur came again, and he yelled dinosaur again with the same results. When the dinosaur comes the third time Wilber gives him his sack lunch with a Mountain Dew as well and the dinosaur decides he doesn't need to eat the sheep.

This story makes the three girls hungry for a snack and as they are discussing this their father falls asleep in the rocker. They leave the stage in hunt of some food and the lights go down.

During intermission, I moved to the very front row with my grandchildren as they wanted to get closer. Just in time to see the father had fallen asleep on the bed and the three girls have returned with a sack lunch.

The father wakes up with a start and wants to go to bed, but they remind him he promised three stories. And one of the girls wants her father to tell them the story of Rumpelstiltskin. He grudgingly agrees and starts by saying, "once upon a time there was a girl who could turn straw into gold." He is interrupted by his daughter who says he has the story wrong, the girl took gold and made it into straw.

They argue about this for a while, but the father being exhausted, finally says ok! Prince James, played by Everett Works comes onto the stage and argues with the father, the story teller, but he loses his point and now must be a prince that loses all his gold because the poor old woman, played by Astrid Ketchum gives him her daughter played by Kayla Rodewald to him who takes all his gold and makes straw. It's a lie of course, but Rumpelstiltskin, played by Rich Jespersen, is overjoyed with the new story line as he takes all the princes gold and leaves straw. The daughter promises her first born child to Rumpelstiltskin will helps her make the straw. He has her close her eyes as he steals the gold and in its place leaves straw. In the end, the king who is broke and now works at Pep's brings home a pizza ordered by Rumpelstiltskin, with Rumpelstiltskin's name on the order, so they learn his name and don't have to give him their baby, which of course he doesn't want anyway.

The father has finally told all of his stories and covers his daughters with blankets and tell them to go to sleep. He leaves the stage, but the girls are still awake. One of the daughters says "I didn't want to hurt dad's feelings, but mom tells better stories. And I have to go to the bathroom. They all agree they have to go to the bathroom, so they start yelling, "Dad we have to go to the bathroom! Dad we have to go to the bathroom!" And the lights go out.

It was a fun fun play. Mother and daughters, brother and sisters, fathers and daughters all acting together to create a play were we all laugh together. An incredible beginning to a new tradition. This was the brain child of Dianna Keane and Vanessa Janssen. Front House Manager is Tanner works, who collect the contributions, which are still welcomed.

Volunteering to clean is Rich and Karen Jespersen. Concessions set up by Petra Yirsa and Keri Cox. Bryanna Goodman took the photographs. Darlene Cline made the program. Props and set manager was Amanda Hoffman with help from Kira and Aliyah Hoffman and Kristen Burke. Marla Ray and Kelsi Harley were responsible for the costumes. And Chase Hoffman was the sound and lighting manager.

If it weren't for the following individuals the play would not have been presented: Big Sandy Rotary, Dan and Rhonda Works, Roger Hagan, Mrs. Jaramillo and the high school Art class, Keith and Keri Hanson and the Mountaineer, Peps Pizza, Big Sandy Public Schools and Jeramie Erie

Thank you for the smiles and laughs. It was a great play. Everyone could tell even the actors enjoyed it.


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