Halloween is months away, but flying brooms, potions and crystal balls are part of the daily routine at Craft College, a finishing school for witches in modern-day Salem, Mass.
The school is the setting for "Get Witch Quick" by David Rogers. The Dragon's Den Players at Tiffin University are to present the comedy at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday in Osceola Theatre in the Gillmor Student Center.
Although the staff and students have been able to keep Craft's curriculum a secret from the public, those efforts become more difficult when the school is forced to hire a "normal" as a substitute English teacher, Steve Wharton, to finish the term.
PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO
Samantha Bagent (left) wonders about the substitute instructor coming to teach English at Craft College. Julie Banks (center) portrays an overworked scholarship student, while Josie Holland plays another prospective witch preparing for final exams.
It seems the regular faculty member has botched a spell and is only half there. The girls at the school need to finish their courses in order to graduate on time and find employment. Graduation is set for midnight June 21, the spring equinox.
The audience is introduced to Ms. Blackwell, director of the school; Mother Hecate, a cantankerous matriarch of the faculty; and Miss Wisk, who can be in two places at the same time.
Adding to the mix is the caretaker, Caleb, a not-very-bright normal. A canary named Medusa periodically blurts out "messages" about impending events. In addition, the students have fun practicing the tricks they have learned.
The class valedictorian, Lucinda, gushes with self-confidence and disdain for her struggling classmates. Adapting modern technology to the "ancient sciences" is Lucinda's specialty.
On the other end of the scale is Undine, who is expected to follow in her powerful mother's footsteps. Undine's graduation is uncertain, and her mother would not approve of Milo, the young man she loves.
Milo is a normal. A witch who marries a normal loses her powers.
Cecile is an exchange student from England. Then there is the promising student, Junelle, who works in the school office in exchange for tuition. Lucinda is especially jealous and critical of Junelle.
When the U.S. government contacts the school looking for a graduate to join the foreign affairs staff in Washington, Ms. Blackwell sets up Lucinda, Junelle and Undine for interviews.
In an effort to eliminate Junelle from the competition, Lucinda forces another student, Ivy, to help manipulate Junelle's grades and to cast a spell that makes Junelle fall in love with the new teacher.
Neither of the lovers understands the sudden attraction, but Junelle observes, "Love is a kind of magic, isn't it?"
Many secrets and surprises are revealed before the final curtain falls.
The cast includes Lynne Wagner, Paige Hanson, Chelsea Garza, Julie Banks, Cari Lyczek-Roser, Jamie Reed, Jenna Trillet, Josie Holland Samantha Bagent, Allison Busdeker, Kayla Lampkins, Graham Altizer, Ethan Hug, Lamar Turner, Jacob Simon, Tyler Todd and Aaron Stewart.
Tickets are $4 and will be available at the door.