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WDC Drama Department to present musical, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’!

Dana Pavek, WDC Schools

The Wadena-Deer Creek Drama Department will present an energetic, contemporary musical, “Don’t Stop Believin’!” on Nov. 14, 15 and 16 on the stage of the historic Wadena Memorial Auditorium. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or from students in the play. 

The play is set at Ethel Lampert Community Center. Unfortunately, the center has seen better days and may soon see its final days unless teens, volunteers and staff find a way to save it. Wadena-Deer Creek High School Drama Director Jay Patterson said he chose this play because of the strong message it gives to kids.

“The last signature song of the play says, ‘Don’t stop believin’ in yourself.’ This positive theme runs throughout this play. Students need this added to their world view. It needs to be embedded there,” Patterson said.

The play is on the order of “Glee Club” and has strong teenage characters that are on the fringe.

“They are troubled teenagers who find respite in coming to the Ethel Lampert Community Center. Of course, the continuing existence of this center and all the good it does is at risk because some ‘developers’ want to tear it down and build shops and parking lots,” Patterson explained.

When they hear of a new television reality contest for glee clubs, they decide to form their own and try out. If they win top prize, they’ll earn enough money to keep the center open.

WDC senior and theater veteran AJ Tollefson will serve as the musical’s student director. Last year, Tollefson portrayed Emily Dickinson in the one-act play written by Patterson, “The Humorist of Forrest Leaves.” The play earned WDC and Patterson their tenth appearance at the State One-Act Festival. Tollefson plans to be an English teacher and drama director.

“I have much confidence in her [as student director]. She will garner the respect of the cast as well,” Patterson said.

The public is encouraged to see these young, talented thespians perform at Wadena Memorial Auditorium.