“Dogsbreath Devereaux the Dastardly Doctor” or “Nurses … Foiled Again.”
The students will perform in the high school auditorium on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, April 8 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students and free to those with a school activities pass.
“It is just a funny, afternoon show to just not think about the world and have a few laughs,” Director Holly Kaderlik said.
The story follows Dr. Dogsbreath Devereaux (Braydon Hoffmann) and his attempt to get rich by marrying the widow Lotta Cash (Siiri Rakowsta).
Cash was married to the owner of the Hanover D. Cash Clinic, where Devereaux practices. The doctor plots with Nurse Hilda Hatchet (Abby Hietala) to marry and then kill Cash.
From the get-go, Devereaux makes it very clear to the audience that even though he promised to marry Hatchet after Cash’s death, he has no intention of following through.
“Dogsbreath is a very sleazy, manipulative guy,” Kaderlik said. “He is always trying to find a way to help himself and not anybody else.”
Devereaux’s plot is complicated when Hatchet catches him flirting with the heroine of the show, Wendy March (Makia Otto).
March is a new nurse at the clinic and has a secret that could stop Devereaux from getting his hands on Cash’s cash.
Doctor Phil Good (London Watson) is the hero of the show, and March’s love interest. Only he can save the lives of Cash and March.
The show is full of puns, jokes and outrageous characters. In part, that is why the director picked it, Kaderlik said.
“The characters are able to be bigger than normal in a melodrama,” Kaderlik said. “So they get to do big movements and they get to do big voices and go over-the-top.”
The play is set in the Cash Clinic. The set consists of full walls that outline the waiting room and a single emergency-room bed that Devereaux is found sleeping in when the curtain rises.
This is Kaderlik’s first time directing a play. She stepped up to the plate when personnel changes left the role open.
“They needed someone quick and I have been in 19 plays before, myself, so I took it over,” Kaderlik said. “I have never directed before but it has been an interesting ride, to say the least.”
The experience has given Kaderlik a new appreciation for her previous directors, she said.
The middle school play is particularly difficult due to New Ulm Public School’s dedication to allow middle-school students to try as many activities as they want.
“The organization part is a little difficult,” Kaderlik said. “You are trying to (work) around everybody else’s schedules to try and make sure the students can be in everything they want to try because this is a very important time in their lives to be able to try everything and be able to find out what their passions are.”
(Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).