Tag Archives: Chris Bundy

FC theater exceeds expectations with powerful performance

By Meghan Poff

A sense of unsettled anticipation hung in the air as the auditorium slowly filled for FC Theater’s first showing of the classic musical, Les Miserables. The play was an ambitious choice for director Robbie Steiner, but former FC theater director Chris Bundy never doubted his choice for a moment.

“Let’s just say this is one of the most difficult shows you can stage but I am absolutely confident that it will be great because it’s being done by Floyd Central theater,” said Bundy.

The curtains opened to the dramatic crash of drums resonating from the orchestra pit, igniting an electric start to what was to be a powerful production. Despite the difficulty of the music and maturity of the content, the cast handled the challenge with the confidence of seasoned professionals.

The prologue, which introduced the plot of the show, featured Silver Creek theater director Alonzo Richmond, who, as lead character Jean Valjean, was one of two adult actors cast. Although initially believing Richmond would appear out of place in a sea of middle and high school students, it soon became clear that Richmond’s orotund voice complemented those of the young performers.

Along with Richmond was Highland Hills band director Phil Thomas, who in his role as Inspector Javert, absolutely stole the show with his dynamic stage presence and commanding demeanor. From his first appearance in the prologue to the end of the play, Thomas did indeed feel out of place. Though Thomas was often a secondary member in the scene, his cold and exacting execution of Javert outshone other cast members with the pure enormity of his singing prowess.

The guest actors may have dazzled with their performances, but the show also displayed the spectacular student talent. Senior Clay Gulley, playing the rank and despicable Thernardier, received thundering applause with his obnoxious caricature in “Master of the House.” Intended as the comic relief in a mostly somber show, Gulley rose to the task perfectly, playing well off of Mrs. Thernardier, junior Mary Hayes. Senior Savannah Wormley, an ensemble cast member, said she really looks up to Gulley as an actor.

“He is naturally talented and charismatic on the stage. Much of this is due to the way he completely puts himself into the character. It’s like it’s not even Clay anymore. He was perfect for Thernardier.”

One of the most surprising aspects of the performance was the stellar performance by secondary characters. Along with Gulley, junior Jade Dailey tugged the emotions of the audience as Eponine, whose passionate renditions of “On My Own” and “A Heart Full of Love” seemed mature beyond her years.

But as with any show, Les Mis would not have been nearly as effective without the technical elements. Junior Liam Resener, who played the Bishop of Digne, said the show presented a challenge because it is is so technically heavy, especially the big sets and scenery like the infamous barricade. The large set pieces are a testament to the skill of the technical theater department; not only were the challenges masterfully executed, but the lighting was superb and transformed the tone of the play from mournful, in the melancholy blue of “Castle on a Cloud” to the triumphant red of “The People’s Song.”

So after an inciting end with the epilogue, the cast took the stage for an booming  standing ovation. Though only in high school, the theater department truly proved their status as the best in the Midwest with Les Mis. As people filed out of the theater, Bundy, who had purposely waited until the first night to see the show, stood up from his seat and stretched. He was smiling.

The Last Five Years commemorates Bundy’s career

By Claire DeFrancisci

The lights dim and the piano begins to play as senior Erica Mohler takes the stage to open up the show. With a cast of only two people, The Last Five Years was nothing short of excellent.

The play follows a young couple as they tell the story of their five-year relationship. The woman, Catherine Hiatt played by Mohler, begins the story at the end of their relationship. At the same time Jamie Wellerstein, played by senior Zach Hebert, begins at the start of their relationship. The two stories only meet once throughout the show, at the couples wedding.

I’ve seen many of FC’s theater productions this year including Urinetown, Suessical, A Christmas Carol, and Ashes and I must say that this show has taken the spot of my favorite. In the smaller Studio One stage, you seem closer to the couple and really feel like you have gotten to know them by the end. I found myself laughing, crying, and simply being speechless throughout the 2-hour show.

With very few props and only two cast members, the play really showcased the talent of the two young actors. Not only was this a great way to say goodbye to two of FC’s beloved thespians, but it was also a grand finale of theater director Chris Bundy’s career.

Retiring teacher earns prestigious award

By Chase Gosman

Education is more than just learning information. School is the place we meet our best friends in life. A best friend doesn’t have to be a peer; they can be a teacher as well. A good teacher educates a student on a subject, but a great teacher makes the student  love the subject, and The Sondheim Inspirational Teachers Award honors great educators who do just that.

The award is in honor of one of America’s greatest musical theater composers, Stephen Sondheim. Marking Sondheim’s 80th birthday, The Kennedy Center recognizes teachers who inspire new generations of artists.

Theater director Chris Bundy received the award late last month along with nine other honorees across the country. Bundy, who has been teaching at FC for 15 years, was nominated by former student Michael Chandler. Chandler graduated in 2005 and was part of the theater program.  Chandler is one of the many students greatly impacted by Bundy.

“It is very touching that Michael Chandler nominated him because he [Bundy] made such a big impact on his life,” said principal Janie Whaley.

“It makes me stop and think what teachers made an impact on me,” said Whaley.

For Bundy, the teacher that sparked his love of the arts started in junior high school with his English teacher Mrs. Nale. He was interested in literature while studying Great Expectations in her class.

“She made the story come alive, not just something to be read.  When I got to high school, I became interested in theatre and went from a solid ‘C’ student to an A & B student because I finally found something that totally turned me on to school and education and actually wanting to learn,” said Bundy.

Bundy said the most rewarding part about being a teacher is seeing his kids mature into adults.

“ I often see shy and unconfident ‘kids’ find their voice, whether that is through acting or the technical aspects of theatre and the arts, become outgoing, confident young adults who will make a difference in this world,” he said.

It is this interest in his kids that shows that while he may be leaving the FC staff, he will not fade away.

“It really doesn’t matter how old they become….they will always be ‘my kids’ and that’s a pretty great thing,” said Bundy. The award includes a check of $10,000.

“That money has been put away in what I’ll call my ‘travel fund’ to go out all over the country to enjoy seeing my ‘kids’ in their productions from college to Broadway.  Because, like I said, once you’re my kid, you’re my kid for life.”

‘Seussical’ to reschedule charitable performance

By Danielle Rehor

Following Friday’s bad weather and the after school activity cancellations, last Friday’s performance of “Seussical” is rescheduled to this weekend. The upcoming weekend’s times are 7:30 on Friday and Saturday, and 2 and 7 pm on Sunday.

In addition to the changed dates, the theater department will be taking donations before and after performances, as well as during the intermission. The donations will be given to Red Cross to help benefit the tornado victims.

‘Ashes’ to play next weekend on Studio One stage

By Alyssa Book and Lauren Holstner

Sarcasm and cynicism come to the FC stage next weekend in the form of the play “Ashes.”

The play, which will feature a variety of FC thespians, will be performed Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 28 and 29 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The play has eight different scenes, which all center around a common theme: cremation.

“It’s got funny things, serious moments and it’s unusual. It’s a variety of things,” said directer Chris Bundy.

Junior Laura Duncan said, “It’s set up like each scene has a different plot. The scenes are all connected through the theme of cremation.”

The theater students are excited to perform the play because it is based off of things that have happened to Bundy.

“Well, since I wrote it, it’s fun to see the things you wrote come to life and some of the things happened to me. So it’s fun to watch students act it out,” said Bundy

The play is described by Duncan as being sarcastic and putting humor to situations that are not normally humorous.

Senior Erica Mohler, who plays Elizabeth in the “Ashes,” said the show has a great concept and although preparing for the play in only two weeks was stressful, it was a learning experience and helped her with time management.

Duncan and Mohler both commented on how the show is a great opportunity for the underclassmen performers.

Mohler said, “Bundy added scenes to the play to give underclassmen more opportunities. It is a great way for them to gain experience and grow in acting.”

“Ashes” will be performed on Jan. 27-29 and begins the last semester of plays directed by Bundy, who will retire at the end of the school year. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, and $6 for students.