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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Adapted classic finds NW stage

Adapted+classic+finds+NW+stage

By Tabitha Redder/managing editor

A classic novel and high school literature staple is brought to life again in Theatre Northwest’s first show of the fall semester with Laura Eason’s adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a novel by Mark Twain.

“This version tries to take a very theatrical approach. So without making a lot of changes in scenery, the actors go from place to place and the audience uses their imagination,” director Josh Blann said. “They are there. They are in the church, they are in the school, they are in the courtroom, they are in Jackson’s Island, and we don’t try to literally portray those things because one of the advantages of live theater is that you can engage the audience’s imagination.”

Jordan Woika plays Huckleberry Finn, and Kevin Reha Jr. plays Tom Sawyer in Theatre Northwest’s version of Tom Sawyer. Jaime Thatcher/The Collegian
Jordan Woika plays Huckleberry Finn, and Kevin Reha Jr. plays Tom Sawyer in Theatre Northwest’s version of Tom Sawyer. Jaime Thatcher/The Collegian

The adaptation allows room for creativity within the play and the depiction of various scenes, but it is extremely similar to the novel.

“It condenses some things. It is shorter,” Blann said. “The most famous scenes are in it, the painting the fence scene, which is probably the most famous scene from Tom Sawyer. Of course, Injun Joe, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly — all those characters are in this version, and they are as memorable as they would be in the book.”

Kevin Reha Jr. describes his role of Tom Sawyer as something he relates to and is also the prequel to a coming-of-age story.

“He’s having the last of his real childhood adventures,” he said. “It’s really about his maturation as a boy and how he comes to mature and starts seeing the world from other people’s view.”

McKenzie Morrow, who plays Becky Thatcher, said getting into the mindset of a child was challenging.

“A lot of the things I wanted to do were too old looking or sounding,” she said. “It’s hard to scale it back and kind of remember how a child would say certain things.”

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a definite contrast to the bigger show Theatre Northwest produced last fall.

“The Woman of Szechwan is more obscure, esoteric,” Blann said. “And although it was a very successful show, we wanted to do something a little more recognizable to begin with this year.”

The play is something adults can relate to even though the main characters are all children.

“We want the audience to go away with a renewed sense of joy and wonder that comes with being a little kid,” Blann said.

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8-11 with a 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 12. Tickets are $6 for general admission, $3 for seniors and non-TCC students and free for TCC students, faculty and staff. To make reservations, call the box office at 817-515-7724.

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