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The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Review: Pauper Players’ “Tuck Everlasting”

Pauper Players’ spring musical “Tuck Everlasting” was a phenomenal showcase of talent and dedication.
Olivia Morett
Left to right: Devin Wallace ’24, Della Avent ’27, Mattie Marks ’26, Cort Stevenson ’27

On Friday, Feb. 9, the Pauper Players opened their spring musical, “Tuck Everlasting,” written by Claudia Shear and Tim Federle and directed by Katie McDaniel ‘26. No matter how many productions I watch this group put on, I will never fail to be amazed by their level of talent and dedication.

Just within the opening scenes, it was clear how much work the cast and production crew put into this production. The intensity with which the actors portray their characters, as well as perfecting their personalities and quirks/flaws, made the entire show entertaining, emotional, and believable.

The musical follows a young female lead, Winnie Foster, played by Mattie Marks ‘26, as she learns to navigate a new reality without her father and with a grieving mother. After being told she was not allowed to attend the fair in her small town of Treegap, New Hampshire, Winnie is frustrated and confused, not fully understanding her mother’s reasoning. After running away from home, she meets Jesse Tuck in the nearby woods.

Jesse Tuck (Cort Stevenson ‘27) is the youngest brother of the Tuck family. The entire family is made up of father and mother, Angus Tuck (Cohen Campbell ‘27) and Mae Tuck (Della Avent ‘27) and Jesse’s older brother, Miles (Devin Wallace ‘24). While the Tucks seemed like an average and happy family, they were hiding the secret of the immortality they gained from drinking from the secret spring – a spring Winnie discovered when she met Jesse.

The characters of this play were enthusiastic, emotional and relatable. They were all well-written, but, more importantly, they were well-played. Winnie was a youthful and positive lead character – she always put the other characters before herself while exuding confidence that only an 11-year-old girl can carry. Jesse was the textbook definition of a mischievous “teenage” boy. He was always causing problems and getting himself into trouble, but he was so entertaining to watch that his ignorance became almost charismatic.

One of the most memorable characters was the Man in the Yellow Suit, played by Andra Enache ‘24. While this character was the villain of the story, the Man in the Yellow Suit provided the perfect balance between comedy and conflict. Enache had a signature walk for her character, making him seem much less serious than he tried to be.

Left to right: William Nix ’27 and Emily Lackey ’25 (Courtesy of Olivia Morett)

Another astounding comedic duo was Constable Joe (Emily Lackey ‘25) and Hugo (William Nix ‘27), the police of Treegap. The banter between these two characters throughout the entire show gave the audience many laughs.

Every actor did a phenomenal job at portraying their character. Devin Wallace ‘24, who played Miles Tuck, gave an outstanding solo performance with his song “Time.” He perfected the caring and serious older brother character who genuinely loves his family. Rebecca Hionis ‘26, who portrayed Besty Foster, Winnie’s mother, made the audience feel her genuine worry and fear at her daughter’s disappearance. Elaina Penn ‘27, who was Nana Foster, delivered an excellent performance as the witty and sarcastic grandmother. She provided age-old wisdom to her daughter and granddaughter, as well as being quick-witted with her responses to the Man in the Yellow Suit.

However, learning these roles and the choreography was not all these actors did. Many of them, including those who were a part of the ensemble and featured dance group, were also tasked with creating and decorating some parts of the set. For example, Lizzy Smith ‘26, who played Carnie 1, spent extra time building and painting her stand for her scenes at the fair.

Throughout the musical, the talent did not waver once. Every actor on stage, with or without lines, impacted the story and the audience. The singing stayed consistent and strong throughout every song, providing the audience with a wide range of emotions over the two-hour long run-time.

The people behind the scenes, literally and figuratively, also shared a huge part in how well the show turned out. Students were responsible for sets and props, the lighting, music, costumes, and choreography. It takes an army to put on an amazing performance, and these students did just that.

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