Drama program gets off to a wicked start with “12 Angry Villains”
HUFFIN’ & PUFFIN’: Cinderella’s evil stepmother, played by junior Salma Yearwood, expresses her opinion on why Peter Pan is guilty as the Big Bad Wolf, played by junior Victoria Wolf, prepares to attack her. Cinderella’s stepmother plays a vital role as the antagonist for the verdict of Peter Pan throughout the play. Photo by Sonaiya Brown
By Sonaiya Brown and Aleksi Holder
“It is an incredible ensemble and every character is so unique that the characterization in the show is very important,” said senior Luke Gryzbowski, who played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the play. “If you watch it multiple times, you can focus on a different character each time and it is a completely different experience.”
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, played by senior Luke Gryzbowski, illustrate two contrasting personalities on the jury. Dr. Jekyll, a calm, composed individual, initially believes that Peter Pan, played by Matthew Delvalle, is not guilty, whereas Mr. Hyde, who overflows with unleashed ambition, is certain that Peter Pan is guilty of the murder of Captain Hook. Throughout the play, each villain gradually changes their perspective to understand why Peter Pan is innocent. Cinderella’s stepmother, played by junior Salma Yearwood, is a woman with a hatred for orphans like Peter Pan, and she has a significant impact on the trial. She tries to persuade the jury to trust her biased opinion. From the high-quality costumes to the seamless transitions into each scene, the play focuses on characterization to portray emotional character moments and leaves the audience craving to find out Peter Pan’s fate.
“We are constantly helping each other, doing each other’s makeup, letting people borrow parts of our costumes and helping each other with memorizing our lines. We are really close and once a show starts, everybody who is a part of that show grows closer. You are with these people all the time and you get to know them really well,” junior Riley Ramon said.
Both A and B casts and the tech support team rehearsed every Wednesday and Thursday for two hours to perfect their character performances, and about three hours of tech rehearsals were required to ensure that the sound and stage design were ideal for the play. Creating a touching, amusing play not only required memorizing lines from all cast members but also preparing each other’s costumes for each performance day. With the assistance of parents, the stage had a long curved table covered by a black drape, along with twelve distinctive seats for each villain and a decorative background to embellish the scene. Riley, the Wicked Witch from A cast, shared her thoughts about her performance in the play.
“I was nervous, but you do not feel those nerves until you are standing backstage about to walk onstage in front of a full audience,” said Ramon. “Miss Nesmith really did help us feel prepared because of the amount of rehearsal and time that she gave us, so I feel pretty good about my performance since, when you are onstage, you feel that good energy.”
The costumes designed for 12 Angry Villains contributed to the atmosphere of the show and the crowd interactions. The characters’ costumes, especially that of the Wicked Witch, played by Riley Ramon in Cast A and Isabella Rodriguez in Cast B, captured the audience’s attention with her green painted skin. Before the show and during the 15-minute intermission, the actors talked to their audience as their characters, like Peter Pan’s lost boys, played by Sage Cerrato, Sophia Ramirez and Daisha Stringer, asking whether the viewers thought Peter Pan was guilty or innocent. The drama department’s next production is “Xanadu Jr.” which will be shown on Jan. 19 and 20.
“Preparing for any show takes a lot of people, like the size of a village. There are so many of us, and everybody does their own work, and it all comes together to produce an amazing product,” Ramon said.