Ila Nettleton, Hayden Jimenez, and Klover Cinocco play sprites in Noodle Rat Rotten Hat. (Emily Files)

Ila Nettleton, Hayden Jimenez, and Klover Cinocco play sprites in Noodle Rat Rotten Hat. (Emily Files)

By Greta Mart, KHNS

It’s almost curtain time for the Haines Summer Youth Theater Conservatory. After spending about a month in rehearsals, the ensemble presents their production this weekend at the Chilkat Center.


Youth Theater Conservatory Assistant Director Daniela Saez explains the show’s name. Wait, what it is again?

“Noodle Rat Rotten Hat. Because the wolf has a speech impediment and he can’t say Little Red Riding Hood’s name correctly so he calls her Noodle Rat Rotten Hat,” Saez said.

A big bad wolf with a speech impediment? That’s right, says Logan Borcik.

“The role I play is the wolf in the play,” Borcik said. “I think the most challenging part was definitely learning the lines, memorizing all the lines because they are just random words that only sound like the real ones.”

The hour-long musical was published in 2006 by the late stage star and teacher Gary LaVigne. The plot involves a collage of familiar fairy tale characters, but with some new twists. Director Stan Coleman said that while it’s a comedy for kids, the story offers some meaningful life lessons anyone could use – like overcoming shyness.

This is Coleman’s second summer in Haines. He and production manager Bill Winkley traveled again from Oregon to lead the summer conservatory. It’s run by the non-profit Lynn Canal Community Players. This year’s show features 20 members aged five to 13.

Cathy Pashigian  is the conservatory’s voice instructor. During the school year she teaches second grade at Juneau’s Auke Bay Elementary School. She’s come to Haines to help with the youth theater conservatory for the past several years.

“I really enjoy working with the children,” Pashigian said. “That magic has happened…I can see over the three weeks — and that’s a short time for a show like this — that we’ve formed a really nice ensemble.”

Saez agreed that this year’s cast is special.

“The children are a joy, I love working with them,” she said. “I think that’s the best part, seeing their little faces every day. And there’s a lot of talent here, so that’s been awesome.”

Pashigian encouraged everyone in the area to attend the performance, which includes 20 musical numbers.

“I’ve just enjoyed every single day that we’ve run the show…there is so many funny things in it, funny lines, and I think it’s going to be very entertaining for both children and adults.”

The two performances of Noodle Rat Rotten Hat are at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 24th and Saturday, July 25th at the Chilkat Center. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children. They can be purchased the door or the Babbling Book.