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West Shamokin puts history on stage for laughs in 'Heroes' Couch'

| Thursday, April 11, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Leader
Terra Cravener (left), Katie Jacobs, Beverley Kozuch, Dawnelle Ion and Jessica Toy rehearse a scene from the play, Heroes' Couch by Rob Frankle and being directed by drama teacher Kimberly Swank at West Shamokin High School on April 9, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Leader
Kristin Williams (left), Austin Lundgren, Nancyjo Williams, Makayla Murray and Kyle McElwain rehearse a scene from the play, Heroes' Couch by Rob Frankle and being directed by drama teacher Kimberly Swank at West Shamokin High School on April 9, 2013.

COWANSHANNOCK — History buffs, sci-fi fans and folks seeking family-fun entertainment are bound to enjoy West Shamokin High School's production of “Heroes' Couch.”

The comedic play by Rob Frankel, brings together famous historical characters — Shakespeare, Lincoln, Cleopatra, Calamity Jane, Marie Antoinette and Hercules — and projects them into the future.

“They are so emotionally distraught, they have to see a psychiatrist,” said English teacher and drama adviser Kimberly Swank.

The time-travel plot is a twist on the 1980s hit movie, “Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure,” said Swank.

She said the 20 members of the student cast are mostly veteran actors, with the lead role of Dr. Jill being played by Makayla Murray, a junior.

Murray, who has been acting since the second grade, said the play is a lot of fun.

“It's funny and it's something you can take your kids to see,” she said.

Austin Lundgren, a senior who plays Hercules, seemed to have channeled his character's boundless energy during a dress rehearsal on Tuesday.

“You should always pour your heart into what you do,” said Lundgren.

His role, said Lundgren, “brings out my muscular me.”

Beverly Kozuch, another senior, plays the role of Sheila, Albert Einstein's cousin.

Sheila is devoted to fashion, is an expert on history and helps people get back to where they came from, said Kozuch.

Kozuch said her character provides a lot of comic relief to the plot.

“It's definitely a good comedy,” said Kozuch. “It's pretty diverse with the characters we have.”

Her two favorite scenes take place in a courtroom and in a Wal-Mart store.

Swank said the art teacher, Donna Weaver, helped with the set design for the Wal-Mart scene.

“People should definitely come out and see the play,” said Swank.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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