The Patriot Press

Fall Drama: Students to Present Arsenic and Old Lace

By Kendra Levundusky, Staff Writer

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The WHHS Theater Department starts off the theater season with the fall drama, Arsenic and Old Lace, which will be held on November 29th, 30th, and December 1st at seven pm. 

Diving into the season, the members of the theater program are excited and anxious for the upcoming drama. Arsenic and Old Lace is a play written by Joseph Kesselring about one normal man trying to keep the homicidal tendencies of his family at bay.

Senior Dylan Catania plays a lead role as Mortimer Brewster.

“It’s quite a difference playing an antagonist last year to a protagonist this year,” Catania says.  “This is my first time playing a normal role in a show, it’s very challenging because usually, I scare people so it’s interesting being a good guy for once.”  “I see a lot of potential for this show, this is truly a quick comedy where there’s a lot of action and I think a lot of people will be able to get into it.”

Catania says he feels much more comfortable on stage and is excited for himself and all of his co-stars. He remains humble and eager to improve despite continually getting the roles he always auditions for.

Christina Silvestri is a sophomore who was the assistant stage manager last year and currently the main stage manager this year. Although her heart is on stage, she manages to keep everything off stage organized and handle it all well.

“It has been an amazing learning experience, usually I prefer to be onstage, but through this I have learned how much work goes into a production that most people don’t even know about,” Silvestri says, “A stage manager has to know what everyone on stage is doing at all times and where all of the props are and make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. Between the actors, stage managers, and our fantastic director, Mrs. Jeronis, this show will be a great success!”

Silvestri came into the theater program as a wide-eyed freshman eager to learn and improve; she expresses her passion for theater and her love for the amazing friends she has made.

The actors, stage managers, and the director all have rehearsals every single day Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 after school. This dedication does not go unnoticed, and those that really care about and love the theater happily express it.

Director Barbara Jeronis works as a seventh-grade English teacher at SCMS. She is the daughter of former Wayne Hills Theater director, Michael Castania and has been directing productions for more than 10 years. She too has a passion for the theater and continues to inspire and help her students become the best they can be.

“I think so far it’s [the drama] going very well,” Jeronis said.  “we have a lot of scheduling issues such as prior commitments and a bit of a time crunch, but I think our kids are very talented, everyone is doing a good job and I think the production will be pretty awesome.”

Jeronis often struggles with scheduling as some of her theater students are also proud members of the marching band or color guard and have to bounce between both. Stage managers or minor character often step in for missing leads.

“This play is much longer than last year and there’s a lot more to do;” the director adds.  “each play has its own complications and intricacies, contrary to last year, this show focuses a lot on comedic timing and being able to work with so many people on stage,” Jeronis says “Last year was such a serious show and what’s interesting is our seniors that graduated had really good comic timing but this year we see a lot of people that have not taken on comedic roles be able to expand.”

Each show from year to year comes with different obstacles. Aside from timing, the theater club faced was having to cast several male roles as females because they make up a majority of the theater.

It is well known that there is a lot of friendly competition in the theater but everyone remains a good sport and continues their dedication to this department. The students make long-lasting friendships and frequently help each other with things like characterization (becoming the character) and line memorization. 

 

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