Hilarity from out of this world

‘The Aliens are Coming!’ delivers unique characters, mystery guests and Marsburgers

THE CAST AND CREW of Cedar Grove-Belgium High School’s “The Aliens are Coming!” include (front row, from left) Molly Dirkse, Kirstin Oszuscik, Georgie Isken, Becca Plier, Jack Beckmann, Ryan Wonser, Jacob Ferber, Jonah Heisler, Kennedy Schoeder, (middle row) Kara Pree, Natalie Davies, Sydney Albrecht, Olivia Robertson, Sophia Larsen, Kaitlyn Wolff, Kaitlin Wieberdink, Mackenzie Amore, Jacy Zajac, Liz Stemwell, Anna Claerbaut, Audrey Nagorsen, Allison Schreurs, Sara Burns, Andrew Reichert, Wesley Reichle, (back row) Ella Winter, Brett Feind, Ben Anzia, Emilie Gruell, Anna Kiskunas, Lizzy Berndt, Maria Guaman, Lydiah Lavey and Emma Daniels. Not pictured were Grace Voskuil, Bryce Ketterhagen, Allison Wieberdink and Kaitlyn Wollner. The directors are Mary Beth Desens and Dave Claerbaut. The play will be staged at 6 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday at the middle school. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Jacob Ferber and Liz Stemwell have a get-out-of-jail-free card for picking on each other over the past month.

The Cedar Grove-Belgium High School seniors are just getting into character for their roles as brother and sister in the spring play “The Aliens are Coming!”

“We were encouraged to get under each other’s skin,” Ferber said. “We share a couple of classes together, and I try to annoy her as much as I can.”

Ferber’s tactics include addressing Stemwell in the middle of class.

“I can talk loud, too,” Ferber said.

Stemwell has her own technique, though Ferber said, “I think she’s a little nicer.”

The two have had plenty of life practice leading up to their starring roles. Ferber has a younger sister close in age, and Stemwell has a younger brother.

In the play, Ferber is 22 years old and Stemwell is 19 and are supposed to be “not as mature” for their age, Ferber said.

The pair inherit the rundown Meteorite Inn, a motel in a desert from their father. Though the business has been dormant, the two concoct a plan to attract guests, taking advantage of rumors of aliens at a nearby restricted zone called Area 502.

Hosting a UFO convention brings in a cast of characters seeking lodging and the motel cafe’s famous Marsburgers.

At least a couple of parts of the script were customized for a local audience. Two one-liners take good-natured digs at a municipality adjacent to Cedar Grove that shall go unnamed.

Ferber has been in every play offered at the high school, and Stemwell is back for a second year.

“I think it’s a lot of fun to try something different than I’m used to,” she said. “I thought the play would help me come out of my shell a little bit.”

This is the second consecutive year that the school has offered a spring play, in addition to an annual fall performance.

“Some kids can’t do fall or spring due to activities,” co-director Mary Beth Desens said. “It’s nice to give other kids a chance.”

This spring’s 90-minute production came with less rehearsal time than normal. Spring break wiped out one week of practice, and students have missed time due to other extracurricular activities like track and field.

Ferber and Stemwell said they have been feeling the pressure of the time crunch. Ferber is also preparing for the state forensics meet on April 20.

“It’s kind of bearing down on you,” he said of opening night.

A band trip to Chicago on Saturday bumped the play up by a day, so the usual Friday and Saturday shows were moved to Thursday and Friday. Desens said it was hard to find a time when the entire cast was available for two straight days.

Desens and Dave Claerbaut also direct the fall plays.

“It’s a lot of work, but it really is enjoyable,” Desens said. “More people have the opportunity to have bigger roles, so we get to see more students shine.”

The pair directed last spring’s play for free, and in fall the School Board, while approving a 5% pay increase for all coaches and club advisors, recognized their efforts and adjusted the wording of compensation for drama director to “per play” rather that “one play per year.”

Ferber said he appreciates the extra opportunity to perform.

“More or less lines, it’s still cool to get to play more characters and increase your range,” he said.

After the play, Ferber and Stemwell plan to breathe a big sigh of relief and slowly transition back to normal life.

“That’s going to be an adjustment,” Stemwell said.

“I’m probably still going to be annoying,” Ferber said.

Spaghetti dinner to be held Friday

The sophomore class will hold a spaghetti dinner at the middle school from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

For $5, diners will get a plate of spaghetti, piece of garlic bread and a drink. Treats will also be for sale.

Flower sale offered at both shows

The Parent-Teacher-Student Organization is holding a flower sale on both nights of the play. Flowers are $2 each or three for $5 and will be available before the play and during intermission.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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