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April 24, 2014

PROUDLY REUNITED: Floyd Central’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ features an alum as guest director

FLOYDS KNOBS — The guest director for Floyd Central High School’s latest show isn’t just helping program director Robbie Steiner, she’s an old pal.

Amy Harpenau, who acted and trained alongside Steiner, is also a 2007 alumna of Floyd Central High School. Steiner said having her on board for its first-ever production of “Pride and Prejudice” is great for him and his students.

“It’s a lot of fun for me, it’s fun to work with someone your own age,” Steiner said. “That doesn’t happen very often for me. It’s nice to work with someone who came from here and has been successful in the field.”

Harpenau said after getting her bachelor of fine arts in musical theater at Ball State University and acting out of New York, she’s come home to get a taste of working in a classroom.

Her experience on stage, both professional and as a student, help her relate to the kids in the production, she said.

“Sometimes if the kids don’t get a scene, we can bridge that gap of what we’re trying to do with some of my own personal experience,” Harpenau said.

Steiner said this show isn’t necessarily an easy one. The adaptation they’re using — written by Jon Jory — borrows a lot from Jane Austen’s classic novel, including dialogue and several monologues.

Harpenau said even though the students are fluent in English, some of them aren’t quite used to this kind of English.

“The biggest challenge is the language,” Harpenau said. “Some of the quotes are directly from Jane Austen’s novel, so the language is something that doesn’t quite match up with today’s vocabulary.”

She also said now that she’s planning on rooting herself in Southern Indiana again, she hopes to find herself in a classroom more often. Harpenau said she’s pursuing a degree at Indiana University Southeast to begin her career in secondary education.

“I was always encouraged to do whatever it was my heart desired to do,” Harpenau said. “It’s been an experience in keeping a schedule and dealing with the kids and grades.”

But aside from the real-world experience she brings, Collin Jackson, senior, said it’s nice to see an alum who’s gone on to pursue theater. Jackson plays Mr. Darcy in the show.

“It’s very interesting to see someone who has achieved what a lot of us want to achieve,” Jackson said. “Not everyone wants to become a director, but I kind of do. It’s great to see someone who got to test the waters in something different.”

The show runs this weekend only from Friday to Saturday. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. every night and also at 2 p.m. on April 26 and 27.

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Families enter Renaissance Academy, Clarksville Community Schools' New Tech high school, for an open house on July 17. Much of the construction is finished on the building, with classes beginning on July 31.

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