Senior Scenes draws curtain on 2018 drama productions

Max+Stover+%2811%29%2C+Lizzie+Gutridge+%2811%29%2C+and+Liz+Tilley+%2812%29+in+a+scene+of+%22%27dentity+Crisis.%22+This+play+was+the+final+act+of+the+night%2C+leaving+the+audience+members+slightly+confused+and+thoroughly+impressed.
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Senior Scenes draws curtain on 2018 drama productions

Max Stover (11), Lizzie Gutridge (11), and Liz Tilley (12) in a scene of

Max Stover (11), Lizzie Gutridge (11), and Liz Tilley (12) in a scene of "'dentity Crisis." This play was the final act of the night, leaving the audience members slightly confused and thoroughly impressed.

Skylar Cassel

Max Stover (11), Lizzie Gutridge (11), and Liz Tilley (12) in a scene of "'dentity Crisis." This play was the final act of the night, leaving the audience members slightly confused and thoroughly impressed.

Skylar Cassel

Skylar Cassel

Max Stover (11), Lizzie Gutridge (11), and Liz Tilley (12) in a scene of "'dentity Crisis." This play was the final act of the night, leaving the audience members slightly confused and thoroughly impressed.

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With the seniors scrambling to graduate and head off to college, the drama company decided to give drama-involved seniors the chance to direct one-act plays on May 3 and 4 for an event called Senior Scenes. In Senior Scenes 2018, Ali Leary directed Post-Its and ‘dentity Crisis and Tony Marsee directed Just a Stage He’s Going Through. Both directors and all of the actors in their plays worked extremely hard to bring it to fruition.

The atmosphere in both the final rehearsal and opening night was charged with hope and enthusiasm. The audience members chatted until the lights dimmed, watching the stage in silent anticipation and waiting for the first play to begin. Then, Ali Mousavi (10) and Emily Marziale (11) walked out on stage to begin Ali Leary’s first play: Post-Its. This play was a heartwarming story of a husband and wife falling in and out of love but still choosing to be with each other, time and time again, told through the form of the two actors reading off post-its to each other. This play reminds all of the audience members of the people they care about most in their lives. Leary chose to direct this play because it was “very light-hearted and…warm and something everyone can relate to.” Ali Mousavi, the actor in Post-Its, commented that he “twisted” his character to be the product of both his and Ali Leary’s visions. He also described working with Leary as a very positive experience; he said that “there are a lot of people out there that wouldn’t be as generous as [Ali],” before going on to explain that she let him and Emily Marziale contribute to the scene and their characters in their own unique ways. He also described her as a “very fair and equal director,” due to the fact that she takes any ideas that her actors give her into consideration. Leary expressed this philosophy when she said she “made it very clear to the people in her cast that this was a team effort.”

Mousavi wasn’t the only actor to praise Leary’s directing skills, though. Liz Tilley, a senior who played the lead role of Jane from Leary’s other play, immediately described her experience with Leary’s directing as “amazing” and “such an experience,” because she had known her for a long time and “looked up to her as an actress.” She was happy to be a part of the last Senior Scenes of her high school experience, especially since it was in the play of ‘dentity Crisis, which, as Ali Leary points out in her director’s notes, isn’t supposed to make sense. Though the plot line is slightly hard to follow, it mainly centers around Jane, the daughter who is portrayed as the sanest person in a crazy family, even though she attempted suicide. It follows her as she navigates through her mother’s affairs with a French count and her own son (including issues surrounding the father and grandfather of the family, all four men being played by junior Max Stover), a psychiatrist who gender swaps with their wife several times, and a handful of chips that gets dumped in an audience member’s lap in the middle of the performance. Ali Leary, the director of this play, said that she picked it because it is “quirky and fun and…it really makes you think. It’s a bold statement.” Though she understood it would be difficult for high-schoolers to fill the roles in this play, she was willing to push her actors beyond their comfort zone to help them attain new levels of experience and skills that they might not have had before.

Natalie Burke                                                                                                         Sarah Lambeth (10), Evan Malloy (11), Foster Apple (11), Connor McGinnis (10), Natalie Burke (9), Adrian Gonzalez-Ramirez (11), and Natalie Thomas (11) posing in the Black Box as their characters from the play. Rena Modi (9) also played the mother in this play, but she was unable to take the picture with the cast.

 

 

The play directed by Tony Marsee, Just A Stage He’s Going Through, is similar to ‘dentity Crisis in the way that it challenges what people normally picture when they think of plays. The main character, played by junior Evan Malloy, is able to see the audience, manifestations of his mother, and Sigmund Freud with a sock puppet; however, the other characters in the scene cannot see these things and assume that the main character is crazy. This play asks the audience to question what they think about life and themselves, as well as being “funny and quirky,” as described by Tony Marsee. Marsee has been working on all of Patterson Mill’s shows since sophomore year and has not only acted in one of those plays, but also worked in every tech position possible. He wanted to direct for Senior Scenes so he could fully understand each aspect of putting on a show, which led him to be impressed at his actors for “rocking” their lines every time. Connor McGinnis, a sophomore who played the saxophone man in Marsee’s play, echoes the struggles of all the actors in Senior Scenes: memorizing all of their lines in a short amount of time. However, he and the rest of his castmates were able to pull it off just in time for the show. He described his experience with Marsee’s directing as “very good” because it “meant a lot [to him] to have someone that goes to your school to work with you and help you through things.” He also said that Marsee gave him “very meaningful notes” that helped bring the successful performance of the play to life.

Senior Scenes gave its actors the chance to play a big role that might not have been suited or available to them before. It also allowed the actors to tap in to their emotions, including things such as family issues, mental health issues, and other past experiences that helped them better the believability of their roles. The directors benefited hugely from this experience, as well; they got to see their classmates grow and progress their acting skills while putting on a variety of plays for everyone to enjoy. Just as Tony Marsee said, everyone should “be impressed by how hard everyone has worked here.” From monologues about suicide and the existentialism of life to heart-warming love stories and random gender swapping, the directors and actors of Senior Scenes were able to successfully throw the audience through a wide range of emotions in a short amount of time. As Liz Tilley said, Senior Scenes was “a great way to end the year.”

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Senior Scenes draws curtain on 2018 drama productions