Langley High School students Danny and Jesse Jolles did not always enjoy acting in the same plays. However this year, the two siblings have changed their tune.
"I'm really excited to get to work with my brother because since we know each other there is an automatic sense of trust," said Jesse Jolles, a junior at Langley. "Plus, this might be our last play together."
Danny Jolles is currently a senior at Langley and will be going away to college next year, so this fall's school play might be the last time that he and his sister share the stage. Both are performing in Langley's production of Don Nigro's comedic version of "Robin Hood." Danny plays the part of Prince John and Jesse plays the part of Quigley, Maid Marian's servant.
"This is the third play that we've been in together at Langley," said Jesse.
Both the Jolles siblings and the rest of the cast members agree that "Robin Hood" has been particularly fun to put together because of the solid bond between everyone involved.
"It's a smaller cast so we all get along really well," said Katie Damon, a senior who plays a bartender in the play. "It's a hilarious play, and everyone likes to improv so it gets a little crazy in rehearsal."
Sophomore Maddie Wise plays the part of Maid Marian agrees that the friendship between castmates has made rehearsals more enjoyable.
"The group is similar to the people from last year's play and I think the camaraderie between everyone made it easier to jump right in to it," said Wise. "It's been fun, but also really challenging to remember all my lines and get all of the blocking."
Phyliss Jaffe, the theater department head at Langley, chose the play for a variety of reasons.
"It's incredibly funny - it's got a real 'Spamalot' feel to it," said Jaffe. "It's got a lot of really good characters, so it gives the kids a chance to try out different things. I let them help choose and they really like it too, and it's got lots of parts and lots of leads, so it's really more like an ensemble piece."
"I like that it's comical," said senior Megan Bane, who plays the role of Old Gummy Granny. "A lot of Ms. Jaffe's plays in the past have not been comical, so it's nice to do this."
Jesse Jolles has also enjoyed the humor of the play.
"All the roles are comedic," she said. "My character is very straight-laced and protective of Maid Marian until she gets drunk and then she becomes desperate."
IN THE MIDST OF REHEARSALS for the upcoming play, Danny Jolles is also preparing for his early admission audition to New York University's (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. This Saturday, he must perform two monologues and two songs, as well as some improvisational exercises. He will also be interviewed by representatives from NYU.
"I'm so nervous that I almost threw up yesterday," he said.
Because their parents met in a community theater production of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," both Danny and Jesse Jolles have been exposed to theater all of their lives. However, only Danny is absolutely sure that he would like to become an actor.
"It [acting] is one thing I really want to do, but there are so many other things that I would also like, so it's hard to pick," said Jesse Jolles. "The way we were raised, it's always been a part of our life, and we've been in a lot of plays together."
Jolles says she is interested in applying to the University of Virginia next year.
"It's really competitive to get in and I love learning and I love strong academics," said Jesse Jolles.
She knows how important it is for her brother to get into NYU.
"He already got into PITT [University of Pittsburgh]... but NYU is his dream school so I really hope he gets in. It's really nerve-wracking," said Jolles.
Phyliss Jaffe says she has enjoyed having the two siblings in her various productions and classes.
"And they're both good," said Jaffee.