TJ: From One Acts to 'Moon Over Buffalo'

TJ: From One Acts to 'Moon Over Buffalo'

Thomas Jefferson is known for the science and technical curriculum, but let us not forget the theatre arts program. Theatre at TJHSST is alive and kicking. This year there have been three full shows already. They were student-directed one acts, "Twelfth Night" and "The Crucible." Coming up are: "Moon Over Buffalo," "The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged," "Taming of the Shrew," "Wit" and "Museum." All of this at a science and tech school. Jefferson is blessed with very talented actors that are willing to spend the extra time to rehearse and perform, while still maintaining their studies. Theatre is mainly an afterschool activity which garners many students that want to spread their creative wings.

The technical end of productions is all student done from design to execution. A 16-foot frame of a house with rafters and beams was designed, built and raised by students. The lifting of an 800 pound roof (nicknamed "Fred") was choreographed into teams, pulley systems and a great deal of man and woman power. It was accomplished with the guidance of Rosie Kandall, Zach Savit and Chris Gabriel, all students. This roof and walls served as the main set piece of "The Crucible." The furniture for the show was researched and built to the image of the 1600's furniture. Lights, sound and special effects were all student designed and rigged. While building for a show, the technicians are always teaching new students that want to join in. This is truly a learning experience for all involved.

The actors for the shows are equally talented as well. "The Crucible" is a difficult show to produce and the emotions are very intense for young actors. During rehearsals for the shows the actors playing John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Reverend Hale, learned first hand the depth of characterization needed for these parts. Research did not do the job as Arthur Miller took liberties in the creation of these characters. Zach Fithian , Courtney Soderberg and Max Sneller took characterization and acting to the highest pinnacle. Tears were flowing and the raw emotion of these characters was felt by the audience and the characters themselves, long after the performance had ended. This is dedication and the theatre experience at TJHSST.