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Excel Christian student excels with creative writing
by Aaron Retherford
May 29, 2013 | 1973 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Excel Christian High School sophomore Michelle Gaetke
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Excel Christian High School sophomore Michelle Gaetke
“The Ruyan Queen” is a play based on a royal family in a fantasy world where a princess is kidnapped and her brother must save her.

It was also written by an Excel Christian High School sophomore and performed by the school’s drama class at Laxalt Theater on W. 2nd St. in Reno recently.

Michelle Gaetke originally wrote the play in order to create a part for her best friend, Excel senior Christina Ellsworth, who continually was stuck in “motherly and kind” roles, when all she wanted to do was play a villain.

Gaetke, who originally found her love of creative writing with the help of her older brother, Benjamin, said she was writing about one scene per week. So it took her about eight weeks to finish “The Ruyan Queen.”

“I’ve always had a fascination with stories and their character development,” Gaetke said. “My older brother was a big influence on that, too.”

The drama class began recitals in February and performed the approximately 45-minute long play on May 21.

Seeing how the play transformed from her mind to what transpired on stage, was one of the bright points for Gaetke.

“It was really interesting to see how different people, after they read it, did it in different ways than I originally imagined,” Gaetke said. “I thought it was pretty good for a small school’s drama team. I feel especially blessed that the students actually worked through it because at first it wasn’t that easy. The performance was a lot better than I expected it to be.”

Currently, Gaetke is in the process of writing a sequel, although it is in book form. Gaetke said she is only a couple chapters into it and it will be awhile before she finishes, but she already knows she prefers that medium over writing a play.

Gaetke also acted in her play, taking on a small role.

“I do like acting a little bit, but I prefer to not be on stage,” she said.

With two full years of high school remaining, Gaetke has thought about colleges and majors a little bit, but she is unsure where her talents will take her. She does hope to turn her passion for creative writing into a career down the line.

Gaetke said she also enjoys mathematics in school, and likes the atmosphere at ECHS.

“I like how it is a small school, and the teachers have more time for you,” Gaetke said.
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Betty Ann Dement
May 31, 2013
Super Jog Michelle! I am sure family and friends are so proud of you. I would enjoy reading the play sometime. I am a good friend of your grandmother Joyce. Keep up the good work! God Bless You!
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