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‘Sassy, funny, scary’: students excited to return to the stage

Watch cast members of the fall production ‘The Ghost of Splinter Cove’ talk about being in the play

Godwin Heights — Ninth-grader Liangie Perez Martinez admitted she likes mimicking characters she sees on TV, so when she heard that Godwin Heights was bringing back theater, she auditioned and became one of five students cast for the fall production. “The Ghost of Splinter Cove” by Stephen Dietz, is at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 at the Godwin Heights High School Auditorium, 50 35th St. SW. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for students, cash only, the day of the show.

“I got into theater because I wanted to know what it would be like and I wanted to experience it more and make sure I liked it… So far, I am really happy with it,” said Liangie, who portrays Cora, one of three children in a story about how the childrens’ imaginations unlock a family secret.

The COVID pandemic put the school’s theater program on hiatus, said Julia Knutson, high school ELL coordinator and the play’s director.

Knutson said the high school has slowly been working to again offer theater to its students. Last school year, there was a production in January. This year, the goal is to provide a more consistent schedule, which will include a theater class available to students during the second semester. 

“I am really glad that we have the theater back,” said tenth-grader Isabelle Underhill, the stage manager. “We haven’t had a lot of electives here, and I think it is really good that the school is prioritizing creativity for students.”

Read more from Godwin Heights: 
Bringing the options in-house
Newly configured preschool focuses on being inclusive

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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