Behind the curtain

Alice Kogo, Contributing Writer

Since mid-September, a group of nine talented individuals have gathered together to create a marvelous production that has been advertised on several posters throughout the school, with amazing results—’Playing Doctor’.IMG_20141114_210029

The cast of assorted seniors and sophomores—Abasi Kelley, Madison Schlegel, Eric Schuler, Jacob Dunskis, Ella Kalnes, Emma Sheikh, Noah Garcia, and Jacob Hall—have been spending five hours of every day to result in what can be described as an amazing experience, requiring much hard work, time, and dedication. “There were a lot of stressful moments, a lot of amazing moments,” Eric says. “And a lot of moments that we messed up on, but it worked out anyways,” a statement that the cast laughingly agrees with.

After spending the past few months together, and seeing each other more than their actual families, it’s easy to see how close the cast has become. “We really got know each other,” Ella Kalnes says. “There’s a lot of people here that I’ve heard of, but I didn’t really know of that well, and now we’re like family.” When the play is over, a lively atmosphere is maintained as the cast members are congratulated by friends, family, and watchers of the play.

“Like me, my character spends a lot of time in the closet,” Noah Garcia playfully says on one occasion. “I mean, I do my homework in there.” Unable to resist, Eric Schuler asks, “When are you gonna come out?” and good-humoredly chorus of “Eric!” quickly follows from all of the cast members. They joke together while taking a group photo, and Jacob Dunskis sums it all up by describing each other as “one giant, dysfunctional, semi-perverted family.”

Though she has been involved in past productions, Ms. Allison says that this is her first year directing the fall play, and describes it as one of the highlights of her year. “These people are fantastic, phenomenal actors and actresses and I’m so privileged to have the opportunity to work with them.” Her dedication has played a part in getting the show together, and when it’s over, several people stop by and congratulate her on the hard work that she’s done.

Experience, exposure, and social skills are just a few of the potential gains that come from being a part of a production like this one. “I mean I know how awkward it sounds,” Madison Schlegel says. “But if you learn how to work a stage and interact with people on a different level, it helps you in the real life, and it helps you communicate with other people that you may not get the chance to talk to or see on a daily basis.”

“It lets you communicate in different ways and different aspects,” Jacob Dunskis adds. “It teaches you how to become more open-minded towards things.”

“You get to let out a side of you that you don’t normally show,” Jacob Hall says as the cast shows signs of agreement.

For those that want to be part of a show like this one, there is no stopping the amount of encouragement and advice that the cast gives. The accumulated knowledge from the seniors is enough to blow you away, and each cast member’s experience is different, whether they are new to plays, but have been involved in musicals, or if they have been doing plays for the majority of their acting careers.

“Try it out, don’t be afraid to audition,” Schlegel says, brandishing waves of pure motivation. “You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. If you want to be involved with anything theatrical, don’t be afraid to get out there and try it.”

“Always remember, confidence is the key to success.” Abasi Kelley says, quoting Arthur Ashe. “Don’t give up,”

“There’s always some way that you can be a part of something,” Emma Sheikh adds.

Unlike the seniors, the sophomores that make up a large proportion of the cast will still have the upcoming years to audition and be a part of more productions within the school. When asked what their plans were for the future, Schuler was able to supply this lingering remark that was agreed upon by all of the family that he was a part of. “It’s no doubt that we’ll audition for the next show, or whichever shows come our way, even out of high school. Acting is a part of my life, and every time we get an opportunity to be a part of something this amazing, we’ll take it.”