Students get into character, as those in grey play people in the mirthless future of “The Giver.” Those in colorful outfits play characters in memory sequences being passed down. (Photo by Ryan Lewis)

Allegan High School presents dystopian ‘Giver’

“The Giver,” the stage adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 young adult novel by the same name, will be presented by Allegan High School Drama on March 23-24.

Both shows are at 7 p.m. at the Allegan Performing Arts Center.

The story follows Jonas, played by Blake Ruffer, through his life in a society that has eliminated pain and strife by converting to “Sameness,” a plan that has eradicated emotional depth from their lives.

Jonas is selected to inherit the position of the Receiver of Memory from The Giver, played by Madelynne Katsma, the person who stores all the past memories from the time before Sameness. As the story progresses, Jonas struggles with the concepts of all the new emotions being introduced to him, and whether they are inherently good, bad, in between or if it is possible to have one of those emotions without the other.

Jonas questions the actions of his closest friends, Fiona and Asher, played by Abby Knuckles and Owen McClellan, as well as those of his parents, played by Ezekiel Butcher and Angelica Zoch, as he discovers what life is really like.

Rounding out the cast are Hannah Joynes playing Lily, Jonas’ sister; Wren Ashley as Chief Elder; Archer Johnson, Lily Clark, Drake Caldarona, Katie Heusser, Tera Kizer and Bailey Weaver as the Other Children who are 11; Cailee Bywater as Rosemary; Max Clark as the Voice in the community and a memory; as well as Elie Leece, Savannah Clark, Bry Belden, Kassidy Bright, Evelyn Kubizna, Lilly West, Alexis Wells, Matilda Allen and Kenidy Allen as the memories which Jonas experiences from The Giver. The play features two alternate endings for Jonas so audiences are encouraged not to miss either performance.

Student Sam Croteau designed sound and will operate the soundboard for the production, which has scenery design by Devyn Morris and is directed by Kim Sparks.

All advance tickets cost $3 and can be purchased from any cast member or from the main high school office. Tickets at the door on performance nights will cost $5 each.

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