Two thumbs up for world premier of adapted book
by Nan Barton
The world premiere of Me and the Krinkles was a terrific success. The show was performed to rave reviews on January 22-24 at San Juan High School by an ensemble cast of ARL Middle School students.
In the words of Kristi Redd, “It was seriously awesome! So funny, great acting, amazing singing.”
Danelle Shumway said, “I genuinely laughed out loud plenty and got a little teary-eyed once or twice.”
Merri Shumway said, “Great job to everyone involved in this musical. Very impressive.”
Lynette Adams said, “Those girls did something amazing!”
The play was a collaborative effort by Ashley Berrett and Eva Perkins. The San Juan High School seniors and Sterling Scholar candidates contacted author Jane Sutton several months ago to ask for permission to adapt Me and the Weirdos into a theatrical performance.
Nothing of this scale has ever been attempted by San Juan High School students, but this talented duo was undaunted.
Working with the author’s approval, the girls composed the script, the lyrics and the score over several months. Next, they held auditions, selected a cast, and rehearsed for several weeks.
The young cast includes Saylor Perkins as the lead, Cindy Krinkle. Charity Raisor, Toby Ward, and Ashlyn Bake played members of the unusual Krinkle family. Elijah Ward portrayed the “airhead” friend Roger Snooterman. Elizabeth Pugh and Caroline Crippen rounded out the main roles.
These young actors portrayed their characters in a fun and believable way.
The musical numbers were stunning and meaningful. The duet by Charity Raisor and Caroline Crippen was especially compelling.
On the night of the premiere, author Jane Sutton attended and gave her stamp of approval on the performance. The author also graciously presented some writing workshops at the high school.
She enjoyed visiting Blanding, and she noted how welcoming everyone was. She and her husband, Alan Ticotsky, traveled all the way from their home in Lexington, MA.
The couple stayed at Stone Lizard Lodging with a complementary gift basket provided by the Perkins and Berrett families. They were provided a private tour by ther staff at Edge of the Cedars Museum and State Park.
They also received a guided tour of some of the natural wonders of the area by Four Corners Adventures. They enjoyed the food and hospitality of Pop’s Burritos and Patio, as well as other local establishments.
Of the experience with the play, Director Ashley Berrett has said, “I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have had to direct these kids. They are seriously amazing! They are smart and funny and talented.”
Eva Perkins, who composed and directed the musical numbers, said, “As we rehearsed and got ready for performances, we understood why we chose who we did. They play their parts perfectly. I am so proud of them.”
Eva and Ashley are both very talented individuals and friends. The process of writing this musical brought them closer together in many ways.
Both have shared leading roles in multiple performances at San Juan High. Eva has excelled in music, and Ashley has been actively involved in drama, on stage and behind the scenes. They also assisted in previous middle school productions and bring a great deal of experience to the process.
Eva Perkins first discovered the book “Me and the Weirdos” in her home library as a young girl. A voracious reader from the age of four, she connected with the story and the characters right away.
The book had been beloved by her mother, Kd Perkins, when she was a young child. Published in 1981, the book is one of the most popular books written by Jane Sutton.
Of the experience watching the play, Sutton said, “Al and I were blown away by the professionalism and wonderfulness of the play, as well as the warm welcome we received from Eva’s and Ashley’s families and the whole town!
“It’s deeply touching to me that the humor and the message of the book, that it’s OK to be different, still resonates.”
The elaborate set is designed by Clayton Perkins and donated by San Juan Building Supply.