'Falling Awake' to hit stage

John Rohlf/Clinton HeraldThe cast of the Camanche High School play “Falling Awake” includes (front row, from left) Lyna Hastings, Evan Neal, Ryan Langston, Brady Beal, David Gonzalez, Kaitlyn Shaw, Wyatt Newsom, Emma Judge; (second row, from left) Bailey Mensinger, Malley McKenzie, Kodi Dann and Alexa DeVries; and (back row, from left) Kirsten Franks, Ian Steen, Quinn Rauchenecker, Nic Phelps, Kadee Petersen, Nellie Waidelich, Tori Schmitt, Blaine Moss, Aiden McMinimy, Garrett Evans, Jesse Everhart, Meghan EggersFront row: Lyna Hastings, Evan Neal, Ryan Langston, Brady Beal, David Gonzalez, Kaitlyn Shaw, Wyatt Newsom and Emma Judge.

CAMANCHE — After months of practice, Camanche students will present the play “Falling Awake” starting today. 

“Falling Awake,” which was written by Director Aaron Westrum, centers around a young woman who, despite having her whole life in front of her, gets into a car accident and falls into a coma. When she wakes up, she is in Numa, which is characterized as “an odd place filled with unnaturally happy and blithely unaware people.” 

If she does not wake up soon, she will be stuck in Numa forever. 

Westrum said the practices leading up to the play have not been stressful. 

“I’d say it has been pretty stress-free,” Westrum said. “I have had others years where there has been high levels of stress but that hasn’t been the case this year.”  

Even though the play practices have not been very stressful, Westrum has had other stressful moments in the preparation for the play. He said the hardest part was writing the play. 

Westrum says he started writing the play in December and finished in the beginning of March. He classified the timeline as a “whirlwind” because they could not start practicing until February because he was busy with the middle school play and speech, which he also teaches. 

According to Westrum, the idea for writing the play came from the prodding of his students. 

“This play really wasn’t selected,” Westrum said. “I mentioned the idea for a play and the kids asked me to write it for them. It’s a lot like when I wrote ‘Riddle Curse’ a couple years back. There weren’t enough parts for all the kids so I wrote something to get them all involved.” 

After months of practice, the students will perform the play four times, beginning today. According to Westrum, the main reason people should come to the play are the talents of the students involved. 

“It (the play) is very unique,” Westrum said. “I don’t know any story that kind of imitates this one. But the real pull is the kids. They bring the words to life and it’s them that make the play good.”

There will be four showings for the play. It will be shown at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday night, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $4 for students and seniors, and $6 for adults. 

Herald Staff Writer John Rohlf can be reached at jrohlf@clintonherald.com.

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