2 seniors begin preparations for student productions

October 27, 2017 — by Francesca Chu and Jessica Wang

Taking on one of the most daunting challenges in the drama curriculum, two seniors are beginning work on productions that will result in fully formed plays that each will direct in January and February.

Hannah Yoon will be directing “The Glass Menagerie” from Jan. 19 to 21 and Amelia Berardo will be directing “Servant of Two Masters” from Feb. 2 to 4. Both shows will be staged in the Thermond Drama Center.

“The Glass Menagerie,” written by Tennessee Williams, takes place in the St. Louis of 1947. It tells the story of the Wingfield family, whose members each have their own negative way of avoiding the harsh realities of living in poverty. It is also a memory play, meaning the entire story is told through the memories of the main character, Tom Wingfield.

Since the play only has five characters, it will be easier to direct than a play with a larger cast, Yoon said.

“I wanted to do something dramatic that had a small cast,” she said. “Since I really admire the intense emotional impact of Tennessee Williams’ plays, I decided to do ‘The Glass Menagerie.’”

On the other hand, “Servant of Two Masters,” originally performed as a commedia dell’arte, an Italian form of theater, includes a lot of improvisation and bigger characters.

“It’s a really funny play about a servant who decides it’ll be a great idea if he has another master,” Berardo said. “However, it is not; everything is a complete mess and it’s just chaotic and hilarious.”

Berardo is aiming to cast 10 parts, which is slightly larger than an average student production. Having been in a big production of “Cyrano de Bergerac”  during her freshman year, she is excited to replicate that experience for others.

Cast members for the productions were chosen following auditions in mid October, and they have already started reading their scripts and gaining familiarity with their lines.

“We had auditions rather early because we have the fall play, ‘You Can’t Take It with You,’ going on right now, and we didn’t want to create any strife within that,” Berardo said. “But once the fall play is over, we’re really going to kick into our top gear and go hard.”

Yoon plans on having rehearsals around three times a week for two to three hours each day once everyone can invest more of their time. With everything else going on such as college applications, she has to carefully plan her schedule and manage her time.

“I’m generally able to balance everything by setting strict deadlines for myself and limiting my distractions,” Yoon said.

Berardo expects the cast to rehearse four days a week for a few months before the show. She plans to spend additional hours herself painting sets and contributing to the tech crew.

When casting the main roles, Berardo hoped to bring more underclassmen on board.

“Last year, unfortunately, only one freshman was cast in the show, and that was a bummer for me because as a freshman, sophomore and junior, I loved student productions,” Berardo said. “Now I get to direct one senior year, so I’m hoping to involve some of the underclassmen who can really learn a lot from these.”

 

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