The Mouse That Roared
by The Civic Youth Theatre

David Knewtson, Nayt Snyder, Anna Mundo, Evan S. AndrewsThe tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick has fallen on times not so grand. The government is nearly bankrupt. It’s new sovereign, 20-year-old Duchess Gloriana XII, conducts a brainstorming session that results in a hare-brained scheme to cure the country’s economic woes. It will declare war on the United States of America. A war that Grand Fenwick will, of course, promptly lose. At which point the United States will send billions of dollars in aid and supplies to help rebuild the conquered land. It’s a foolproof plan. But what would happen if the unthinkable happens. What would happen if Grand Fenwick goes to war against the mighty United States – and wins?

This fun and clever satire, adapted by Christopher Sergel from Leonard Wibberley’s novel, plays out in Kalamazoo’s Civic Youth Theatre led by Director Zac Thompson, and with a cast who has a great feel for the characters and the comedy.

Leading them, and leading Fenwick’s invasion of the States, is Nayt Snyder as the Tully Bascom, a very likeable young man who is proud and patriotic of his small country and its natural beauties, and eager to defend his country’s honor and its economic backbone. It’s lone export, a popular wine, is threatened when a winery in San Rafael, California begins illegally David Knewtson, Eric Larson, Mathew Howland bottling a cheaper, “ignoble” imitation. Nayt’s zeal is real as he charters a boat in Marseilles and takes a group of four archers carrying the banner of Grand Fenwick in a brazen, frontal assault on New York City. Anna Mundo stars as Gloriana the Twelfth, the nervous new ruler with the weight of her nation on her shoulders, and a bit of a crush on childhood friend Tully whom she reluctantly sends into battle expecting him to lose. Her expressions are terrific – especially when she finds herself in the uncomfortable position of asking Tully to marry her through Tully’s mom (an amusing Brittany Slater).

Other standouts include Amy Hirt as a surprisingly authentic secretary of state who at first finds the declaration of war (delivered via scroll) rather silly, and later has to awkwardly sue for peace at the request of the president (Matt Van Beck). Mathew Howland is the overly confident, eventually beside himself General Snippet. David Knewtson and Evan S. Andrews play Gloriana’s too-clever advisers. And thirteen-year-old Eric Larson is a hoot as the charismatically geeky and excited Professor Kokintz who has created the ultimate weapon – “The Q Bomb”!

Zac Thompson’s production moves along smoothly, taking time for the humor, and played out within some aesthetically pleasing sets (Katrina Miller) and impressive costumes by Shanna I. Parks ranging from the dull and functional clothing of the Americans to the colorful, festive outfits of the proud and resourceful people of Grand Fenwick.

Performed May 4-12, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
David Benter: Evan S. Andrews
Jane/Ms. Johnson/Student 1: Sixtine Berquist
Soldier #3: Carver Duncan
Soldier #1: Tony Gordon
Pam/Miss Wilkins: Tressa Greschak
Fran/Student 2: Stephanie Hayashi
WAC Debbie: Laura Herman
Page: Amey Hewitt
Ms. Beston: Amy Hirt
General Snippet: Mathew Howland
Count Mountjoy: David Knewtson
Professor Kokintz: Eric Larson
WAC Jill: Amber Lester
Soldier #4: Luke Loviska
Will Tatum: Keith Lussier
Ann: Jesse Morrow
Gloriana the Twelfth: Anna Mundo
Soldier #2: Andrew Rix
Mrs. Bascom/Mary: Brittany Slater
Tully Bascom: Nayt Snyder
President: Matt Van Beck

Director: Zac Thompson
Scenic Designer: Katrina Miller
Costume Designer: Shanna I. Parks
Lighting/Sound Designer: Crystal M. Lee
Technical Director: Christine Grodecki
Properties Master: Jayme Sue Swisher
Stage Manager: Bridin Clements


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