Spring Play in Rehearsal, Working Toward April Show

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Amateurs and expert actors alike met in the auditorium January 27 and 28 to audition for Ashland Falls, NDA’s 2016 spring play. Over 45 people auditioned, a surprising number which made the selections for the mere 14 roles extremely difficult.

“The deliberation process has been intense,” said Mrs. Andrea Gilson, the drama club adviser, who had the responsibility of determining the cast list. “I was beyond impressed with tryouts and very pleasantly surprised, especially by the large number of males.”

The cast includes Alissa DeWilde, Ben Richards, Ireland Sweeney, Faith Hicks, Mike DeLeers, Jordyn Zehms, Nadine Druar, Aiden Glaser Schoff, Emily Ness, Katie Gapinski, Rebecca Boucher, Clare Ravizza, Alex Wasilkoff and Elizabeth Bolin.

Student directors are Maria Patz and Jack Mickelson.

February 10, 2016.

As adviser, Gilson is very involved in the theater program. “I meet bi-monthly with the drama club officers and hold drama club meetings, I assisted in the Christmas play and I am the director of the spring play.”

Gilson has been involved in a number of productions here at NDA although not in the way one would think. “I’ve never been involved as a teacher. I’ve only been involved with the Christmas play because this is my second year here, but I went to school here and I was in six productions.”

Gilson has cultivated a love of theater from an early age. “I’ve been acting since the third grade and I did a lot of Next-Door Theater’s plays and also a lot of community theater plays,” she recalled. “I just loved the fact that you could kind of escape and be someone else for a little bit, and I also loved the energy and enthusiasm.  It’s neat to come back to that.”

Gilson enjoyed NDA’s drama program while she attended NDA and thinks it’s “wonderful” that she can still be a part of it after graduating.

February 10, 2016.

The play Ashland Falls is a “murder mystery with a comedic twist” and “a play within a play,” according to Gilson. “I chose it because it’s going to allow the students to show the large scope of their dramatic abilities. There are a lot of lead parts, and I liked that it took place in a high school. The characters are all really over the top and they all get to play into comedic timing.”

During auditions, students were expected to prepare and give a short monologue as well as read from the script. Gilson’s advice was to be prepared.

“You could definitely tell the students who put in the time and energy to prepare their monologues versus the students who were just winging it,”she said.

“So far, I really like the atmosphere of rehearsals,” said sophomore Clare Ravizza. “My character sort of gets beat up during the show, but everyone is very caring and nice in real life.”

Ravizza is joined by 13 other students who will be rehearsing every week to be prepared by the performance dates, April 14-16 at 7 p.m. and the 17th  at 2 p.m.

If you missed tryouts or didn’t get cast, don’t worry too much.  There are many more productions in NDA’s future and Gilson encourages anyone and everyone to get involved.

“Be a part of the program, regardless of any experience, and really embrace it. Acting is a lot of fun and a great learning experience,” she urged.

February 10, 2016.

All photos Mary Clare Matthews