Audience finds treasure, imagination in ‘Enchanted Attic’

WKU students Gabriel Pless, Heather Moore and Asya Hildenbrand (left to right) peer from behind a wooden box during rehearsal of “The Enchanted Attic” on Oct. 10 inside the Gordon Wilson Lab Theatre. Luke Franke/HERALD

Stephanie Jessie

Pirates, puppets and talking cats populated the Gordon Wilson Lab Theater last weekend as the cast of “The Enchanted Attic” took stage.

The hour-long children’s play, directed by Lexington senior Eric Mattingly, began when three children, Lance, Frieda and Josie, decided to explore their Great Aunt Agnes’ attic in search of treasure. Instead, they found something they weren’t expecting: a magical window that grants wishes whenever they are near. 

Things became complicated when young Josie’s wish to be on a pirate ship brought the children face-to-face with the legendary Blackbeard and his kooky cronies.

After tricking the pirates into jumping ship, the children and their talking cat, So-Dumb, wished for a puppet found in an old trunk to become human. The marionette, Certainly Fairweather, relies on the children and cat to find his master puppeteer once he comes to life. 

Somerset freshman Mason Stevens played the loose-limbed character. He dedicated his time before the show’s debut not only to learning his lines, but studying the uncoordinated movements of puppets and marionettes.

“What I really found out when I acted as this character was that the craziness really messed not with, like, my outer personality, but how I kinda am on the inside,” Stevens said. “I’m all scatter-brained and always trying to do stuff all at once.”

Stevens encourages other performers to try for roles in children’s plays.

“It lets you be as expressive as you want to be and really play, not just with the role, but with the audience, too,” Stevens said. “You can feed off the laughter which is always fun.”

For Julie Pride, publicist for the department of theater and dance, Stevens’ devotion to his character shined through his scenes.

“When someone you know is just giving it everything they’ve got, you enjoy those performances,” she said.

Viewers of the show included a variety of WKU students and Bowling Green citizens, like Tom Napier, Johnie Napier and three-year-old June Napier.

“I want to expose her to the arts, all different types,” Johnie Napier said.

She found out about the performance from the Southern Kentucky Happenings magazine.

Mattingly said his directorial debut was well received. 

“It met my expectations,” Mattingly said. 

The show closed by reminding those watching how important the imagination is, having the children wishing to never lose their imagination.

 “I know what imagination is,” Josie said in the final scene. “Something you should never lose!”