Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Friendship results in on-stage chemistry
Unexpectedly, female student has to take stage as Watson

by Jade Bolack

November 22, 2012

WALWORTH — "I was completely blindsided. I thought I would be up in the booth with the director watching," Bailey Schuldt, said.

Instead of student directing the Big Foot High School production of "Sherlock Holmes and the spinsters of Blackmead," Schuldt was on stage playing Watson.

"Dakota Sammons, who was supposed to play Watson, he has no voice," she said. "He was all raspy during Friday's performance and when he came in this morning, we couldn't hear him at all."

Daniel Freitag, playing Sherlock Holmes, said he sharing the stage with Schuldt.

"Bailey and I are pretty close friends in general," Freitag said. "She likes to say a lot of the time, she pretty much is Watson and I am Holmes. That's our relationship." Schuldt likes to stay off stage, though, and she plans to help direct the upcoming musical.

"I was pretty nervous," she said. "I figured it went as smoothly as it could have possibly gone. Every time that anything got a little bit derailed, the actors were really good about getting it back on track and going on with the scene."

As for playing a male role, she said of all the possible mishaps, it wasn't on her list.

"I had been looking more at some of the female roles," Schuldt said. "In case something like this happened with one of them. But not the male second lead."

Schuldt wasn't the only replacement actor Saturday night. Mitchell Stedman, originally the second student director, filled in for Ethan Payton, playing Oscar Dove.

Payton had "tore something" in his knee, Schuldt said.

"He hurt himself the day before the performance," Freitag said. "We were like, hey, Mitch, here's your part. Ready, set, go. But he ended up playing Dove pretty flawlessly."

Bryn Baughman, playing Alice Milne, said Stedman's acting had one hitch Friday night.

"Our replacement for Oscar Dove, Mitch, he's supposed to catch Glenda MacKay (Angelica Castro), and put her on the couch," Baughman said. "Well, he set her there face down. She was trying not to laugh and breathe because the couch smelled bad. We were all laughing on stage."

Through it all, Ashley Zittlow, playing Mrs. Pettiman, said the cast helped each other make it.

"This last week has probably been the worst thing ever," she said. "But we just kind of comforted each other. We'd come back stage and say, no one out there has a script. You did fine."

Despite the mishaps, Freitag said the cast developed strong bonds during rehearsals.

"It has been really fun," he said. "During rehearsals, Watson would choose a random accent to start talking in. I'd just continue the rest of the scene in the same accent."

Stage support

Emily Splisgardt, playing Miriam Cray, said she wished performing arts had more visibility at the school.

"I think we need to bring back the arts aspect of life," she said. "Musicals and plays are really a value." Baughman said sports get the most attention when the arts can add so much to student life.

"We'd kind of forgotten about it at times over our generation," Baughman said. "They aren't as well supported, but they should be."