Drama department returns to the spotlight, students step up to direct


Sydney Bigelow

Light reading — Senior Olivia Rose holds up the latest issue of The Voice as a prop during the play. Rose acted in Gorgeous and The Potman Spoke Sooth.

Sydney Bigelow, Managing Editor

The first weekend of December marked the drama department’s return to the stage. Each play was 10-20 minutes long and was directed and performed by students involved in the drama department. Not all supporters were able to attend in person, but the production adapted to highlight the talent of students with a passion for theatre. 

The last time that the department took the stage with a somewhat live audience was during virtual performances throughout the pandemic. The drama department gave each performer and stage crew member five tickets for their family and friends to allow contact tracing if necessary. One of the performances was live streamed for the rest of the community. 

The play Kidz Rock was directed by junior Natalie Cence, the play The Potman Spoke Sooth was directed by senior Leslie Arnold, and the play Gorgeous was directed by senior Rita Kelly. These student directors are members of the theatre program and also involved in other programs, for example Cence is an active member of the West Hartford Summer Arts Festival. 

“I’ve always loved being on stage, so it’s awesome to have the opportunity to be on the other side of a production. There’s so much that goes into putting a show together – things that the audience never even sees. I’ve really enjoyed the experience,” Cence said. 

Kidz Rock was about young children auditioning for different roles in their elementary school. Gorgeous was about two high maintenance casting directors looking to cast a role for their play. The Potman Spoke Sooth started as a murder mystery but later developed into the actors and director acknowledging that they were performing and a mysterious voice influencing their decisions. 

In Gorgeous, senior Ethan Roy took on the role of a loud, dramatic woman and embraced the look with a costume and wig. He acted alongside sophomore Rowan To, a similar figure in the storyline, and senior Olivia Rose, who played the potential hire. Rose also performed in The Potman Spoke Sooth as one of the main suspects in the beginning plot of a murder mystery. 

“The energy is high and there is excitement in the air. The chemistry of the cast is better than ever before,” Rose said. 

The drama department was advised to have a 20 minute intermission and ask the audience to leave the auditorium for COVID-19 migration purposes. This time did not go to waste and some people attending moved to the band room to see a small concert sung by students from the choir department, some singers transitioning from acting to singing in a matter of minutes. 

All of the students have been rehearsing and planning since the beginning of November. The department welcomed students of all grades and levels of experience, but many of the actors have taken the Theatre I and Theatre II classes to enhance their knowledge and skills. The production was on the stage on Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium.