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Connecting with rats and moles

What do a person, a river rat and a mole all have in common? The upcoming performance of The Wind in the Willows focuses on the fictional relationships between these species as they go on adventures.

As the cast prepares to take on their roles as animals in the upcoming performance, connections to their own life become more evident.

Benjamin Barrus, a senior majoring in theatre studies, acts out the character Ratty in the play.

“I think that Ratty has a big heart and it is underappreciated,” Barrus said in an e-mail interview. “(Ratty) says that, ‘the other animals call me mean’ because he is fairly strict. But the truth about him is that he loves big and wants to show his friends his beautiful world.”

Barrus said the character he plays helps show the importance of getting out of our comfort zones if we want to grow. Pushing ourselves — even though it can be uncomfortable at times — is essential to growth.

As the play goes on, the characters figure out who they are and learn that helping each other is their common goal.

Ruth Call, a sophomore majoring in theatre studies, plays the character Mole in the performance.

Call finds playing Mole enjoyable because he is one of the main storytellers. Call said that Mole is curious and loves going on adventures with his friends Ratty, Toad and Badger and initiates many of those adventures.

Call suggested that although Mole feels comfortable at home, he loves the idea of adventure and finds the courage to explore. Mole’s curiosity for adventure helps Mole overcome his timidness so he can help his friends.

While the cast members feel they have grown from their rehearsals and the serious effort they have put into their performance, the play itself will be lighthearted and fun.

“On the surface, this is a fun show with lovable animals, catchy tunes and exciting adventures,” Barrus said in an e-mail interview. “But this show is so much more than that. It is a show about overcoming personal obstacles, and how good friends can help us reach heights that we never could on our own. I can’t wait to share this show with the school and community.”

As the performance begins in the coming week, the play brings several themes. One of these shows the importance of being okay with yourself and being able to become better through friendships.

The performance begins on Feb. 19 and concludes on Feb. 28. Those interested in attending the play can purchase tickets on the BYU-I Ticket Office website or at the Ticket Office located in the University Store.

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