Senior takes the lead


Caroline Torpey (far left) poses backstage with her castmates during last year’s fall production of Pride and Prejudice. As a veteran of the Glen Rock Theatre Company, she has performed in every possible production the group has put on.

by Abby Stern, Staff Writer

Acting is difficult because it requires people to act like somebody they are not, but directing is difficult because people have to just be themselves.  As both an actor and as the Assistant Director for this year’s fall production of Arabian Nights, senior Caroline Torpey knows both of these difficulties firsthand.

The Theatre Company’s annual fall show will be Torpey’s seventh show with the company, and she views the Theatre Company as her “home for the past four years,” calling it a “safe and welcoming place I could go to.”

Arabian Nights will be Torpey’s directorial debut, though she has experience helping out with shows in years past.  For example, Torpey has been an annual volunteer for the “Byrd Broadway” elementary school musical program. However she has never carried an official title.  

At the high school, Torpey’s responsibilities as assistant director include organizing when rehearsals will be, organizing backstage, and making sure that “all the actors feel comfortable.”  This means helping to facilitate a connection between the cast and crew. Torpey is also responsible for liaising with the stage managers of the production, senior Reese Romeo and junior Lila Solomon, who are responsible for the set pieces and props.

“Caroline is great at taking charge and she definitely deserves to be Assistant Director,” Romeo says.

Torpey also works very closely with the show’s director, English teacher Juliet Montalbano.  

“I love working with her,” Torpey says, “because I really, really look up to her as a role model, teacher, and a director.”  

Torpey has developed a love for directing even though she finds it difficult sometimes.  She says that it is sometimes hard to differentiate between “actor mode” and “director mode” when on stage with her peers, and she finds it hard to be authoritative with the rest of the cast.  Lila Solomon, however, thinks Torpey does an excellent job laying down the law with the cast.

“I think Caroline is a good person, and I think, when she needs to, she is very strict but in a very good way,” Solomon says.

Torpey feels that directing is “calling her,” and she is enthusiastic about pursuing more directing opportunities in the future.  Above all, Torpey just loves to be a part of the theatre community and be a part of the cast.

“I really think it’s nice when you get to meet everyone and be a part of one thing together,” Torpey says.  “It’s a great community.”