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Churchill's Drama Season in Review

At Churchill High School, the Drama Department season concludes each year in the winter. The 2003-2004 season showcased a number of very talented young people both on and off stage. We were pleased also to work with a technical director new to Churchill, Delano Lopez, who brought our sets, lighting, and sound to a new level. Each year, we put on a fall musical, a student-directed production or productions and a winter play. In our first year as part of the Cappies program, we believe all of our productions represented the school well. Churchill has a Signature Program in the Arts and a long tradition of excellent theatre. We will hold our annual Theatre Banquet on May 27, at which we will induct an additional 23 members to our International Thespian Society Troupe 2156 and will recognize individual students for their achievements both on and off stage.

Drama Department Head:

Jessica Speck

Cappies Critics:

Norah Schneyer (Lead)

Kristin Grothe

Megan Mikulski

Shreya Mukherji

Jen Murphy

Vicki Rudd

"Guys And Dolls:" Nov. 20, 21, & 22 2003

Starring:

Raja Arawat

Katherine McPherson

Terry Tamm

Stefanie Woodburn

This was Churchill's pick for our fall musical and the Cappies show. It was chosen by our director, Jessica Speck, mainly as a way to showcase not only vocal and acting talent, but specifically a number of our outstanding dancers. Additionally, unlike our last two musicals, it does not revolve around a single lead character. The show was filled with entertaining dance numbers by both the Hot Box Girls ("Bushel and a Peck", "Take Back Your Mink") and the Crapshooters ("Luck Be A Lady" and the Crapshooter Dance), as well as the featured dance number, Havana. The story's four main characters, Sky Masterson (Raja Ajrawat), Sarah Brown (Katherine McPherson), Nathan Detroit (Terry Tamm), and Miss Adelaide (Stefanie Woodburn), all delivered fantastic performances, as did the supporting leads, Max Klein, Nicolas Segura, Steven Feis, Sam Klein, Paul Penczner, Emily Newman, Lowell Rudorfer, Ben Hoffman, and dance captain Jason Tseng.

Student Directed One Act Play Festival:

Jan. 8, 9, & 10

"Nobody Famous" (Ozese Ekatah)

"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged" (Evan Turner)

"The Dining Room" (Emily Newman)

"Wonderful World" (Blake Gouhari)

"No Exit" (Norah Schneyer)

"Take Five" (Jen Murphy)

"Monty Python"

This year, WCHS was fortunate to be offering the directing class, in which the final project was the direction of a one act play. These seven directors, under the guidance of Jessica Speck, were responsible for all aspects of the play of their choice, from acting to technical elements. The performances were done on a thrust staging in Churchill's auditorium, as opposed to our usual proscenium staging. Each show was performed once over the course of three evenings. These shows showcased not only directing talent, but also gave many new actors the chance to take center stage. The directors thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work from behind the scenes and learned a great deal about the tremendous amount of effort put into directing and producing a show. As in past years, the plays were a great success and directors and their casts received wonderful feedback from their peers.

"Twelfth Night:" Feb. 26, 27, & 28

Starring:

Helen Sitar

Tom Chen

Natalie Bamdad

Michael Krug

The classic Shakespearean comedy of mistaken identity, directed by Jessica Speck, was set in the 1980s. Inspired by the "I Love the '80s" program on VH1 shown last year, the play featured a wide range of music from the 1980s, as well as the fashions of the time. This production also featured many newcomers to the Churchill stage who impressed the audience with their acting ability and dancing ability. The two leads, the sister/brother and brother team of Viola (Helen Sitar) and Sebastian (Michael Krug), meet many interesting folk after their shipwreck in Illyria, and also find love in the end at the courts of Orsino (Tom Chen) and Lady Olivia (Natalie Bamdad). Especially noteworthy performances were given by Natalie Bamdad (Lady Olivia), Sam Klein (Malvolio), and Talia Gottlieb (Feste "The Clown").