Shakespeare play draws large senior class

Many seniors participate in the spring play, some for the first time

Playing+the+role+of+a+fairy%2C+senior+Maria+Guilford+%28right%29%2C+directs+senior+Carson+Vitt+to+his+resting+place+during+rehearsal+on+Thursday%2C+March+31.
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Shakespeare play draws large senior class

Playing the role of a fairy, senior Maria Guilford (right), directs senior Carson Vitt to his resting place during rehearsal on Thursday, March 31.

Playing the role of a fairy, senior Maria Guilford (right), directs senior Carson Vitt to his resting place during rehearsal on Thursday, March 31.

By Abigail Archibong

Playing the role of a fairy, senior Maria Guilford (right), directs senior Carson Vitt to his resting place during rehearsal on Thursday, March 31.

By Abigail Archibong

By Abigail Archibong

Playing the role of a fairy, senior Maria Guilford (right), directs senior Carson Vitt to his resting place during rehearsal on Thursday, March 31.

Adri Talavera, JagWire opinions editor & business manager

Historically, underclassmen comprise a majority of the drama department, which makes this year’s cast for the spring production, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, different. Seniors make up nearly a third of the cast, and many are taking the stage for the very first time.

Drama teacher Jon Copeland said he believes the increased senior involvement could be a result of the quality of the productions the department puts on.

“I’ve noticed in the last couple of years, more seniors that have never been in a show want to do it. I think partly that’s a tribute to the good shows that we do,” Copeland said.  “Maybe they came to shows as an audience member and said, ‘Wow that looks really cool, I’d like to be a part of that.’”

Despite taking Copeland’s Drama class as a freshman, senior Mason Cooper is participating in a production for the first time after a friend persuaded him to join. Cooper said he was surprised by the size of his role in  his very first show.

“Going into it for the first time, I had lower expectations [for myself],” Cooper said. “I really didn’t expect to even get a call back really. I’m Nick Bottom which is one of the more prominent people in [the play]. I really didn’t expect that for myself. I never really thought of myself as an actor before joining the play.”

For senior Hawkeye Mitchell, who plays Cooper’s double and has acted in all but one production during his high school career, the rush he receives from performing has motivated him to participate in the theater department every year.

“I continued because after that first time it became super fun,” Mitchell said. “Kind of like how people get those runner’s highs … we have our ‘theater high’ … I love it.”

Out of 31 seniors participating in the production, only three — seniors Abby Laning, Eileen Marti and Danielle Stompoly — have participated in all eight productions since their freshman year, either as a member of the cast, set crew and/or tech crew.

Marti, who has participated in both the cast and crew, said she is happy to see higher senior participation.

“I’m really glad a lot more [seniors] have decided to give it a chance,” Marti said. “We’re all really close, so I think people are finally starting to be convinced [to join] because we’re all good friends.”

The close relationships that form throughout the duration of the production are what make it especially worthwhile for Laning, who participates in the tech crew.

“There’s an atmosphere that is indescribable,” Laning said. “You’re a family but then when you’re offseason you go your separate ways, [and] then when you’re back and it’s like nothing’s ever changed.”

Stompoly, who has acted and student directed, said she believes the most rewarding part of theater is watching herself develop.

“I’ve really got to see myself change. Now that I’m a senior and I’m graduating I get to look back and be like, ‘Wow I remember when I was a freshman and I was really quiet and I had zero lines and I stood in the back,’” Stompoly said. “It’s just a really cool thing to look back on and see yourself grow up.”

The show will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 through Friday, April 29. Tickets will be available for purchase during the week of Monday, April 18.

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