When Mike Druce wants to put on a show he just writes a script.
Druce, an English teacher at Soldotna High School, decided he wanted to do an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' "The Three Musketeers" but the roles in that play did not fit the students he would have to work with. So he decided to create his own production based on the classic.
"Why can't I just spin off another story from that? There must have been more musketeers so I'll just tell their story," he said.
And what he got was "The Other Three Musketeers and the Jewel of Malta," an hour-long performance using 25 students that's a parody of the traditional tale including a diamond heist. Druce says there are hints of "The Pink Panther," "The Maltese Falcon" and Indiana Jones thrown into the storyline alongside the historical 17th century characters.
"I'm always looking for something different and challenging to fit the students I know I'll be working with," he said. "The students always step up."
To sum up the show, according to Druce: While the better known three musketeers are away on assignment, Monsieur Treville, head of the musketeers, must find three other musketeers to serve as escorts for the three daughters of a visiting ambassador and guard the world famous Potosi Diamond. When the young women are kidnapped and the diamond stolen, the other three musketeers, Paris, D'Jon, and Bordeaux, must save the day in order to save themselves.
Over the years, Druce has written several original plays, mainly comedy murder mysteries which have since been published and occasionally performed throughout the country by middle schools, high schools and church groups.
Soldotna High Drama Department's play last fall "Surfin' Summer" was a Druce creation because he wanted to do something with a beach motif, he said. It was fun, he said, but this current play is more challenging because there are more scenes to progress the plot.
And why should people go see the show?
For sheer delight.
"It'll just be entertaining," he said. "It will be fun. A nice, light comedy with a lot of students in it."
"The Other Three Musketeers and the Jewel of Malta" plays tonight, tomorrow and Saturday in the Soldotna High auditorium at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.
Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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