Tag Archives: FC Theatre

This weekend’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ ends theatre year

By Isaac Mathewson

FC theatre director Robbie Steiner’s second year has reached its conclusion. To end the year right, he has brought the school an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a young middle class woman who falls in love with Mr. Darcy, a handsome rich man who does not return her love because she is of a lower class. Both of them must overcome their pride and prejudice if they are to finally express their love for each other.

Junior Alyson Jones, who plays Elizabeth, is very excited to be a part of this show.

“I know that there is going to be at least one beautiful performance, a few mistakes, and many tears will be shed.”

Jones has spent the past few months preparing for her role. She says that her greatest strength is facial expression and her greatest weakness is memorization. She likes to spend Monday rehearsals studying her role and getting into her character, which she describes as spunky and opinionated.

Senior Collin Jackson, who plays Mr. Darcy, is also excited to be a part of this production, which will be his final performance here at FC.

“It’s a great learning experience. It greatly contrasts from my role in The Scarlet Pimpernel.”

Jackson says that this role really allows him to focus on his acting and improve on his strength of feeling emotion and his weakness for displaying that emotion.

Behind the scenes, there is a crew of only four techs:  senior John McGehee as stage manager, junior Madeline Kemp as lighting designer, freshman Jerran Kowalski on lighting board and sophomore Sam Simms on sound board.

Kemp’s job is to give lighting queues to Kowalski. It is her first job in this position.

“Lighting is what moves the show in the right direction; it is great to have this new position.”

Although the tech crew is small, all of them act professionally and they believe that the show will be good.

Pride and Prejudice will premiere on April 25, 26, and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.  

FC theatre recreates Jane Austen’s 1813 classic

By Melanie Parrish and Megan Johnson

“Alright ladies and gents, line up for the last dance in the second ball,” said director Amy Harpenau.

Theatre students hastily take their places on the floor. As they disperse and the talking dies down, a countdown of “five, six, seven, eight” is given and classical music begins to play.

Pride and Prejudice is a play set in the early 1800’s about a young woman whose strong willed intentions clash with the surrounding beliefs of others.

“I think the sort of strict boundaries of this time period go along with relations between characters, because if somebody dances with the same girl twice, then it’s like ‘oh, well we’re expecting a marriage proposal now’,” said junior Chelsea Balmer, who plays Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Pride and Prejudice is a novel originally written by Jane Austen. The book created the basis for the play later written by Jon Jory. Within this play, there are several themes: romance, independence, responsibility, and of course, pride and prejudice.

A major theme within both the play and the book  is justified within the first lines, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

However, in order for these themes to be shown thoroughly, they must have actors who are able to naturally display them.

“When we choose a student for a role, we’re looking at the character qualities as a person and as an actor,” said Harpenau. “Actors are more than just what is written on a page.”

Director Amy Harpenau coaches senior Savannah Wormley and sophomore Ashley Denny. Photo by Megan Johnson.
Director Amy Harpenau coaches senior Savannah Wormley and sophomore Ashley Denny. Photo by Megan Johnson.“Actors are more than just what is written on a page.”

The play is defined as a “satire,” meaning comical ridicule is used to show the indirect problems within the plot. As the play is a satire, actors must be able to act in a comical manner, yet still channel the true emotion of their character.

“I try to think about the character’s mental status,” explained Balmer. “I try to think, ‘how does that affect their thinking and their feeling?’”

Though the specifics of stage design have not been released yet, there will be a new addition.

“It will include an extension of the stage, allowing the actors to be closer to the audience,” said theatrical arts teacher Robbie Steiner.

“Hopefully the design doesn’t stick out; I want the audience’s focus to be more towards the students.”

Pride and Prejudice will be showing April 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 26, 27 at 2 p.m.

“With such a range of characters, you are bound to find someone that you like. There’s a lot of great banter between the characters, so it’s fun, but there’s also a really good underlying message.”


Pit orchestra prepares for upcoming play

By Brooke McAfee

As the auditorium fills up, the sounds of the orchestra tuning and small portions of various melodies drift to the ears of the audience. The musicians cannot be seen, hidden within the orchestra pit in front of the stage, but when the show begins, they will have a crucial role to play in the musical.

Senior Garrett Jones, who is playing bassoon and conducting three songs for the upcoming production of The Scarlet Pimpernel, explained the process of becoming involved with the pit orchestra.

“When the staff feels that these parts can be covered by students, they ask other directors who the students are they feel are appropriate for these parts, have the skill level to take them on, and have the time,” he said.

Jones said being in the pit orchestra is a unique experience.

“It is a different musical environment than anything else I’m in. No one sees you when you perform, but the performance has very high stakes. The playing is on and off, and there are people singing to it also. That is like nothing I would do anywhere else, with all my musical endeavors.”

Senior Anna Stephens, who is playing oboe and English horn in the musical said the orchestra requires plenty of personal responsibility.

“There are definitely less people than you normally experience in band, but the level of skill is not necessarily any less. In fact, sometimes it is more concentrated, I would say, and you are the only person on that part…there’s a microphone, and everything you play is heard.”

Junior Zach Rich is playing trombone and euphonium in the pit orchestra, and said he enjoys working with the theater.

“My favorite part would probably have to be seeing the show come together with all of the great actors on stage and us musicians down in the pit, it’s an awesome experience when we put it all together for the first time.”

Rich said he also enjoys the music of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and is enthusiastic about the upcoming performances.

“I really like The Scarlet Pimpernel music.  It’s gonna be hard to top Les Mis, but I am really enjoying the music as a whole…it is a fun yet challenging experience.  I am glad to be in the pit and can’t wait until the performances next week.”

Stephens said one of the challenges includes meeting the high expectations and working with professional musicians.

“They have expectations for you, the director has expectations, and theater has expectations that you will be able to play the music perfectly, like as soon as you start rehearsing, you have to be in it with your mind, step up the challenge, and just be able to play,” she said.

Other difficulties include time management and playing the music in a different setting than many student musicians are used to.

“During hell week, there’s a lot of time management challenges, but just in preparing the show…sometimes the books you get for your parts are really hard, and sometimes parts of the show are just weird with how they line up with the singers. It’s hard just because it is different. The music can be easy and yet it will still be more challenging than many of the other things I do,” said Jones.

Stephens said the experience is worth the hard work, exhaustion, and long hours of rehearsal, and her favorite part of her involvement is her love of the music.

“Even though you can’t see what’s happening, you know the story, and after playing it so many times, you just have this special musical connection with the play. Especially for me, music is very emotional and very important in my life, so it is kind of amazing to have that experience and connection with the music.”

The Scarlet Pimpernel will be playing on March 7, 8, 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m., and March 9 and 16 at 2 p.m.