Lights, Camera, Action: WHS Drama

Morgan M.

Take your seats, and get ready for Woodstock High School’s jaw-dropping performances this year. This season, Woodstock Drama Club students, under the guidance of Director Mr. Grant Sinclair and Assistant Director Mrs. Bonnie Sinclair, are going to be showcasing five plays. Mr. Sinclair is planning on having yet another award-winning year for the drama club. He says, “The shows we are doing, and the way we are doing our shows allow me to highlight the talents of many more actors and actresses this year.”

The students recently completed their work on the fall show, Almost, Maine, which was presented in the Woodstock High School auditorium on October 11th, 12th, and 13th.  Junior Rachel Morris, who played the role of Glory in Almost, Maine, says the show was “an awesome performance because of the spectacular crew and actors/actresses we have for the show this year.”  Almost, Maine is a story of eight different couples who are falling in and out of love.  Mr. Sinclair stated, “On one night, in particular, in a little, itty, bitty almost town called Almost, Maine is where the story takes place.”   The play is an extraordinary romantic tale, and there are some weird, quirky parts mixed in. Almost, Maine has some elements of humor, gloominess, heart-wrenching drama, and, of course, romance.  Mr. Sinclair says, “There is really something for everyone in terms of Almost, Maine.”

The actors and actresses are a hardworking group of students. They are ready and enthusiastic for this year’s choice of shows by the drama department.  For Almost, Maine, audiences had the chance to see junior Garrison Cox portray the character of Lendall, junior Rachel Morris as Glory, senior Michelle Calderon as Suzette, senior Evan Berthard as the Man, and senior Gracie Atsma as Sandrine. They all worked under the guidance of stage manager Katelyn Bourassa, who is a senior. Berthard says the best way to get into their character is by “becoming emotionally invested, studying the manners[ism] of people, and most importantly, playing around with the character to see what way works best for the enjoyment of the audience, yet reflects on our unique personalities.” The students learn these techniques and more from their remarkable teacher, Mr. Sinclair. He said the main strengths of all the actors and actresses would be “their flexibility and that they are able to take on a wide variety of roles and be flexible with changes in block and/or scenery and take it with complete grace. The actors and actresses show that they are very adaptable to the changes.”  Mr. Sinclair is very proud of the team of students he has to work with this year.

Mr. Sinclair is also looking forward to the One Act competition that the drama students will be performing in the WHS auditorium on October 18th.  He is calling it “The Night of One Acts.” The plays that the drama department will be showcasing are All the King’s Women and Cirrius, Nebraska. All the King’s Women is based on 17 different women who are either in love or disgusted with, or in some way shape or form obsessed with Elvis Presley. This play allows Mr. Sinclair “to show off a lot of the female talent that we have in the Woodstock Drama.”  Bourassa, the stage director for Almost, Maine, has also managed to turn these performances and her job of stage manager into her senior class project.

 In Cirrius, Nebraska, the audience will be following a main character, who is known as Stranger.  He looks for and finds the smallest town in America, which he believes is an impeccably perfect town filled with lovely people located in Nebraska. As he spends time in the town, he discovers that there is something wrong with the people. Mr. Sinclair states, “It’s a very powerful show with a whole lot of different levels, and each of these characters have so many different layers and nuisances to their character, so  it’s a really, really good show to highlight how good our actors are to be able to pull off these complex characters, even for just a One Act.” In addition to the Thursday night performances of both shows, Cirrius, Nebraska will be performed during Woodstock’s seventh period class on October 19thbefore being taken to the One Act competition on the following day, Saturday, October 20th.

The talent of the drama department is something that should be applauded. Not only do the students have to work hard at learning their lines, but the students also help create the scenery and costume development for each of the plays.   As a continuously supportive fan, WHS media specialist Mrs. Pati Olton says, “I am excited to see our superb actors and actresses that are talented in many different ways and show the school what they are capable of.”  Sophomore Jelani Regan believes that Woodstock’s talented group of thespians are “very detailed when it comes to their character and very talented because of the way they can transform into their characters.”

Once the One Act competition is over, students will begin prepping for the talent show. After the winter break, onJanuary 24th, the drama department will host “Woodstock’s Got Talent.”  Auditions for the talent show, which is open to everyone, will be held during the last week of November; auditioning students must be ready to showcase their talent and be prepared to perform.

The spring is just as busy with performances. The Young Man from Atlanta will be performed March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd; this story is about a 1950s family that is struggling to overcome the death of their son. While the family is dealing with death of their son, a young man injects himself into the family’s life. Mr. Sinclair says, “This show is a very hard-hitting family drama, which is extremely moving.”  Last but not least, the final show of this school year, Dividing the Estate, will be in April on the 25th, 26th, and 27th.  This play is abouta gentrified east Texas family who is waiting for their grandmother to die so they can carve up the estate and get their fortune. Although Dividing the Estate sound like a serious drama, it is actually a very humorous show.

 This year, Woodstock High School’s drama department has more shows than in years past.  Mr. Sinclair did not want just one person to get the lead role for the whole season. He wants to be able to showcase more of the students’ talents in drama rather than just a select group of students. If anyone is interested in being a part of the fantastic drama crew this year, go by room 604 and talk to Mr. Sinclair; he would be delighted to have fresh new faces that someday could be the next Broadway star. Where will you be when the lights come up?

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