Photos by Layah Jones
By: Bailey Hussung
By Peter Hyle
Standing on stage in front of hundreds, sophomore Madeline Coffey sings as loudly and clearly as she possibly can. Having a love for theater, performing comes naturally to her. Coffey’s enthusiasm for theater arts is palpable as she goes over her countless lines.
“I have such a passion for singing, as well as acting,” said Coffey, “I can’t imagine my life without theater.”
Thankful for their helpfulness, Coffey’s family provides a tremendous amount of encouragement.
“Words can’t even express how much they support me. They’re at every single show and concert. All the love and support I get from them is truly unbelievable,” said Coffey.
Showing signs at an early age, Coffey’s family realized her love for performing.
“I remember when she was in a kindergarten talent show she stood on her head in front of everyone, in a patriotic costume, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance,” said mother Suzanne Coffey.
But her first major performance came later in her life.
“When I was younger, I had a friend who was into theater and she asked me if I would like to come and audition for a play called Joseph and the Amazing Techni-Colored Dreamcoat at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre. And that actually turned out to be my first big performance,” said Coffey.
After Joseph, Coffey realized how much she loved being on stage.
“That first show was a lot of fun, but my passion for it started when a few prominent people gave me a lot of applause and encouragement,” said Coffey.
For Coffey, she could not ask for a better program to help her gain experience in this field than FC’s.
“It [the FC theater department] is a family. I’ve gotten so close to everyone, and they’re all just so supportive.”
Generally, the upperclassmen gain the lead roles due to their experience in the school plays.
“I don’t think age or experience should be an indicator of the part someone gets,” said Coffey. “It’s all about your talent and perseverance. You just have to fit the role.”
Coffey has fit a countless number of notable roles in her few years here at FC, including the Ghost of Christmas Past in The Christmas Carol and Kate Keller in The Miracle Worker.
As for her future, Coffey is confident that theater will be a major part of it.
“I would absolutely love to turn this into a career,” she said. “I’m not sure which field, but there’s nothing I would love more. It’s actually kind of scary to think about not doing it.”
Coffey could not be happier with her time spent on stage, and she only hopes to gain more talent and experience as she continues to pursue her passion in theater.
“Even if I wasn’t a lead, that wouldn’t discourage my longing to perform.”
By Christian DiMartino
Typically, when a patron goes to see a play, he or she pays for the ticket, walks in, finds a seat, sits back, relaxes, and enjoys the show. The experience remains the same at FC’s theatre, but there is another option: a VIP ticket.
When a theater-goer pays for a VIP ticket, “you get treated so well, you wanna come back for more, and should, ” said FC Star Booster President Cyndy Mazer. The Star Boosters volunteer time to support the theater department and theater director Robbie Steiner in the productions. The board is comprised of parents of the theater students.
For only six additional dollars, the audience member is guaranteed a seat in the first four rows. Then, at intermission, VIP patrons are admitted into the lounge, which is decorated for the theme of whatever the current play is, where they have appetizers, refreshments, and desserts. There are around 125 spots, and according to Steiner, they typically sell out.
A lot of preparation and planning goes into the VIP experience.
“There is a team of ladies with a chairperson [Mazer] that organize the food and drinks for the VIP lounge. We try to make it special for the theatre goers by having fancy hors d’oeuvers and a more inviting atmosphere,” said Star Booster member Sharon Barreras. She has been decorating the VIP room for the past five years. “I’ve been an interior designer for 30 years, so it’s a really wonderful creative outlet to hopefully inspire those that come to the theatre productions,” said Barreras.
“They work during intermission to make sure that our guests are comfortable and having a good time,” said Mazer.
Parent volunteer time is instrumental to make the VIP room happen.
“We have a huge number of expenses, so it’s [the work of the volunteers] very helpful to help offset our expenses,” Steiner said.
Steiner and the volunteers strive to make the experience like no other high school play.
“Without all of the contributions and the many people that support the theatre department year after year, we wouldn’t be able to make it as amazing as it is. Robbie Steiner has done a tremendous job working with all of the parents in his first production. Hats off to Mr. Steiner,” Barreras said.
Patrons planning to see this weekend’s play “The Music Man” could buy a VIP ticket for one the following performances: Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
“Everybody should be a VIP at least once, because it’s a good time,” said Mazer.
By Beth Brunmeier
“Please enjoy The Music Man!” The voice rings out across the crowded auditorium filled with restless people, and as the lights dim, the timpani signals the pit orchestra to begin playing.
These were the opening moment of The Music Man, FC’s latest theater production. The beginning overture was played beautifully by the pit orchestra, who continued to play at the same level throughout the entire play.
The Music Man is about a con man who goes by the name Harold Hill. He sells instruments, and so when he arrives in a small Iowa town, he creates the need for a boys’ band in the town. To do this, he has to promise to lead the band himself, even though he does not, “know one note from another.” However, he cannot leave until after four weeks when the marching uniforms arrive and he can pocket the cash.
During those four weeks he begins to develop feelings towards the town librarian and music teacher.
For the most part, the play was fantastically done. The acting was commendable, even by the younger children. All of the characters were believable in their respective roles.
The dancing was also impressive, considering there were several large dance numbers that included what felt like the entire cast in the performance.
The songs were hit and miss for me because even though they were performed very well, some of them are taken very fast and I could not understand the words. The inability to understand characters at times is probably one of my only personal criticisms of the play.
Nevertheless, I especially loved the barbershop quartet, and the town’s librarian, played by sophomore Madeline Coffey, sounded like an angel. The mayor’s wife and her dance group were hilarious.
The ending seemed a bit abrupt and just very ridiculous, but all in all it was another fantastic production by our theater department, and should definitely be seen by fans of classic American musicals.
Meanwhile, I think I will have “Seventy-Six Trombones” stuck in my head for the next week.