A classic story will be brought to life Thursday and Friday when the Roseburg High School theater department returns to the Rose Theatre for its production of “Treasure Island.”

“It’s Treasure Island, so it’s an adaptation of the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. There are at least five or six adaptations that I read and this is by far the one I like the best. I think it’s the most relatable in terms of language but also still keeping to the true tradition of the story,” said Christina Jamerson, director and Roseburg High School theater teacher. “So, lots of pirates, lots of adventure on the high seas, treasure map, all of the things that you think of when you think pirates.”

Like the novel, the play follows young Jim Hawkins as he evolves from the son of an innkeeper to a young man navigating a treasure hunt with some rather bloodthirsty pirates.

Senior Tyler Harris portrays Long John Silver, a character Harris said has challenged him from the start.

“Long John Silver was like a whole new playing field for me. This is a very, very new experience, something that I had to learn to do from day one. Specifically, the learning bit was the peg leg,” Harris said. “It was was an absolute pain at the start and it’s still quite a bit of pain now, but at least I can say I can walk on one leg.”

Along with the struggle brought on by the peg leg and crutch, Harris also had to relearn swordplay. Harris is right-handed, but the use of the crutch meant he had to switch to fencing with his left hand.

“It was a really great learning experience for me. It was a challenge, but I love it,” Harris said.

Harris describes Silver as both rough and light-hearted, though the latter is usually expressed toward fellow main character Jim Hawkins.

“He’ll be very rough to people he doesn’t like, such as the pirates and maybe some other people,” Harris said. “He’ll crack some jokes here and there and call people names, but deep down he has some love for some characters in this cast.”

“That’s the other thing that is great about this show, there is a lot of the action-adventure element, but there’s also a very real human emotion part of it too,” Jamerson said. “It’s largely between Jim and Long John Silver, they develop an unexpected relationship, it’s very familial. It starts as strangers and then becomes very dramatic for, ya know, good reason but then by the end of it it’s like they are family really and it is really hard for them to part ways. It’s unique, I think, in that way that there is a lot of big action, fighting scenes but also that touch of human emotion.”

Young Jim Hawkins is played by junior Felix Meier. Though Meier has acted in previous plays, this is his first time in a main role.

“He is a 14-year-old boy who had recently lost his father and is kinda messed up about it. He is helping out his mom run their inn and, basically, things happen. Pirates. Map. And he just gets thrown into this huge cast of crazy characters,” Meier said. “He is a pretty strong-willed character. He is very smart and quick and cunning, even if he doesn’t realize it.”

The show opened last week, but the cast will return to the Rose Theatre, located on the Roseburg High School campus, at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students with ID and children 12 and under are $3. On Friday, tickets are buy one, get an equal or lesser value ticket for free. All tickets can be purchased at the Rose Theatre box office on show nights or at While Away Books, 932 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg.

Erica Welch is the special sections editor for The News-Review. She can be reached at ewelch@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4218.

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Erica Welch is the special sections editor for The News-Review, mother of two and a native of Roseburg. She is an alumni of Roseburg High School, UCC and Western Oregon University. Contact her at ewelch@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4218.

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