Curtains open for spring show


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

From March 30 to April 1, The Theatre Company put on their spring show, Mystery and Mayhem

by Dylaney Sabino, Staff Writer

The Stage lit up with sound blasting and actors waiting anxiously in their positions. The curtains began to open as The Theatre Company’s nerves stir. With just one month to pull together a four scene show, a much shorter timeline than the company is familiar with, the company was eager to face an audience.

Each year The Theatre Company puts on two performances, directed by Glen Rock High School English Teacher, Juliet McKinley. Traditionally the first production is a musical, the 2016-2017 autumn show being The Adam’s Family.

The second production is intended to combine the talents of the cast, crew, directors and technology department. This year from March 30 to April 1, The Theatre Company put on their spring show, Mystery and Mayhem.

Three of the four acts were put together by student directors. Seniors, Bridget Darcy, Matt Lacognata and Tricia Whyte were given the opportunity to direct this year.

The four shows were categorized as mystery-comedies and featured a slew of actors from ninth to twelfth grade. Whyte was in charge of directing C.B. Gilford’s, Any Body for Tea?

“[Ms. McKinley] asked me if I would like to direct in the spring show and I said but I want to act and she said well you could do both. That doesn’t happen so the fact that she offered that to me changed my world.” said Whyte.

Darcy’s focus for directing was on the act of Murder at Grey’s Hound Mansion by Maxine Holmgren.

“I had a lot of new kids but they brought so much to it,” said Darcy, “They were very open to trying so many different things and I think that’s what comes with having such fresh faces to theatre.”

Every cast had a distinct experience in preparing for their show which led each to being incredibly unique performances and experiences. Lacognata directed the third hair-raising play, If Sherlock Holmes Were A Woman written by Tim Kelly.

“It was my vision to have [one of the characters] come onto the stage holding a skull. Little did we know that the skull would have a lot of personality by the end of the show. It became our little show mascot despite having no lines and no skin” said Lacognata.

Rehearsals were long and often, scheduled every week leading up to the production. In the final days before the performance, the cast rehearsed from five until ten at night.

“A lot of my cast was absent for a long time so I was feeling a little nervous about that,” said Whyte.

Along with the three student directors, Junior, Luke Blomstrom was given the experience of being stage manager. In the earlier show Blomstrom held the position of assistant manager to Darcy. The stage manager is present at every audition and rehearsal piece of the show and has a clear understanding of blocking and movement by the time they have to direct other crew members.

“You have a lot more responsibilities. You’re the one telling crew members this is what we need to move here or what we need to do at this point” said Blomstrom.

McKinley strongly believed that allowing students to take charge would make for a successful production and success for their future acting and directing careers. McKinley described the entire process in one word: collaboration.

“I want them to have the best learning experience and the greatest opportunity to work as artists and collaborators,” said McKinley, ““Every year is different, but every year has been successful and a great representation of the talents and abilities of the students. Everyone had a positive attitude and worked together so nicely.”