TIFFIN– For Pete Huch it was a golden opportunity. Huch, the drama director at Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School, has wanted to stage a production of Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner” since his college days.
“I finally got the cast for it,” Huch said, adding that the CCA group was a good fit for Shue’s cast of characters.
The company of young thespians presented the offbeat comedy in the CCA Performing Arts Center Thursday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 8. The story revolves around mild-mannered Charlie Baker (played by Logan Davis), an Englishman staying at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia as he accompanies his friend Staff Sergeant “Froggy” LeSueur (played by Jenna Watts), a demolitions expert with the Royal Army on temporary assignment with the U.S. Army. Baker’s debilitating shyness and reluctance to engage in conversation leads LeSueur to convince the others at the lodge that Baker is from a foreign country and speaks no English.
While living the charade, Baker becomes privy to a variety of secrets and schemes. In the process, he draws the ire of County Inspector Owen Musser (Trevor Toy). Musser dislikes foreigners in general and musters the local Ku Klux Klan to remove Baker.
Huch noted while the Klan was represented on-stage, the play in no way glorifies or defends the group. Actually, Baker and the others band together to humiliate and defeat them.
“There’s a good message (of understanding and tolerance) to the story,” Huch said of the play, which debuted in 1984.
Mary Mattes, Avery Karkosh, Jenna Tackaberry and Miles Lucas also starred in the CCA production while Daniel Flaherty, Austin Glandorf, Ceci Hinsley, Mallory Barney and Dawson Williams appeared as the riled-up mob.
In the spring, the department will bring the classic American musical “Annie” to the CCA stage.