Fall Drama Overcomes Challenges With Rousing Performance

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The Fall season marks the beginning of school sports, clubs, and the Fall Drama. This year, Mrs. Maureen Buscareno took the reigns and assumed the role of director for the play, Pride and Prejudice. The seniors leading the play this year include Mia Shaw and Taryn Woodley as actresses, as well as Jane Lim and Jennifer Kurta working behind the scenes as stage crew members. Alejandra Lopez assumed the role of stage manager. It is evident that the change in leadership made an impact on the play early on, with auditions happening early in the school year. In order to find out more information about the play I talked to Alejandra, who previously worked alongside last year’s seniors and Co-Stage Managers, Julia Rose Duardo and Colleen Joyce. After asking Alejandra a couple questions she remarked, “We are actually petty ahead of schedule so we are moving pretty quickly …we are already in act two.” Yet, while everything appeared to be running smoothly, there was one issue: they had no male actors. In a play known for the romantic interactions between Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, how would the cast be able to execute certain scenes without male actors. Alejandra explained to me that there are five male parts in the play, but only one boy, Noah Noble, in the cast. Even actress Mia Shaw, who played Jane Bennet, explained that they were having a hard time finding interested boys. At the time, they thought they may have to “reach out to Emerson” or even “possibly reach out to alumni.” This made me wonder what caused the “boy shortage”? Could it have been the early audition, which may have been overshadowed by sports? Or was it a decrease in male interest?

Jump to a few weeks later, add hours of practice, makeup, and costumes, to the night of November 16th. At 7:00 pm the stage lights went on and the cast and crew flooded the stage to finally showcase what they had worked on for about 3 months. Two acts and one intermission later, it was over. Just like that, the hours of practice, weeks of rehearsals, and moments of anguish seemed distant. They had done it. The small cast had pulled it off, or had they? I wanted to know how they felt about their performance. First, I approached Catherine Tallman, who played the lead role of Lizzie Bennet. She gushed, “I think the show exceeded our expectations. We were a young and small cast and we really all worked really hard and made a great final result!” She was not the only who felt that way. Jessica Kurta, who played both Mary Bennet and Mr. Bingley expressed the same beliefs. She felt that for the “mishaps along the way…towards the end they really got things together.” I also wanted to know how Catherine felt about acting alongside females such as Jessica, who played both a female and male character. Was it more challenging to imagine the character? The flat-out answer was “No. It wasn’t…I saw each character…not Jess.” She touched upon the idea that the costume for each character played a large role in allowing the actor to become their character. So, I asked freshman, Ashley DeGeorge, who played both Mr. Bennet and Charlotte Lucas, how she felt about playing also playing two roles opposite in gender. She admits that, “it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be…” and the costume, “definitely helped,” and it allowed her to, “get a different feel…” with, “the suit I knew had to be one person compared to the dress.”

Despite the challenges, the whole cast and crew succeeded in putting on an amazing performance. With a unique twist to modernize the story, the whole audience was in laughs. The play brought its audience back in time with amazing props and a well-designed set. While watching the play I, alongside other audience members felt that the cast did an amazing job executing the play. They all shined and were able to perfectly portray their characters, both female and male. The play did not fall short of expectations, and I am excited to see how the PRHS Theater Program executes the Spring play, which I am sure will be nothing short of great!


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First rehearsal for Footloose! Starting this early but still very exciting 🎼

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