Arts and Entertainment

This year’s freshmen put on a monster performance

By Cassandra Larrabee and Hannah Thomas
Published: November 2009

This year’s freshman play, directed by guest director Adam McLean, consisted of a collection of works by playwright José Rivera.

The 23 freshmen cast in the play delivered dark, satirical monologues and shared scenes. As clips of Rivera’s sonnets and plays were shared, new talents were exhibited.

The cast thoroughly enjoyed being able to be a part of José and His Monsters. “[Being a member of this year's freshman play was] a great way to kick off my South Stage career, Freshman Alex Levy said.

Freshman Sophie Scharlin-Pettee agrees, feeling that the bond the cast shared was one that would last.

“Everyone was so nice and sweet, and I became really close with many of my cast mates, Scharlin-Pettee said. Reflecting upon her time participating in the freshman play.

Freshman Nathan Matzka agreed, feeling that the time spent was well worth it. “There is nothing like doing a play with a ton of your friends. The people were amazing.

Not only were they great at acting but they are also some of the best friends I’ve ever had, Matzka said.

Contrary to its name, the freshman play is not just an experience for freshmen. José and His Monsters provided co-costume designer junior Paulina Sterpe a chance to dive into the world of costume design.

“I loved spending time with the freshmen, and working with my co-designer [junior] Rebecca Penzias was fabulous! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience while costume designing my first show, Sterpe said.

The dark and mysterious writings of Rivera stand alone as the central theme touched upon by each of the diverse works displayed throughout the production.

This connection, however, did not seem amplified enough for some members of the cast. “I didn’t think the theme was very prominent, Scharlin-Pettee said.

Freshman Zoe Clayton agreed, feeling that the connections were not strong enough and at times were confusing to the audience.

Matzka, however, disagreed, seeing the positives in the play. “I think it worked because all the segments had an underlying dark and mysterious theme, Matzka said.

Adding to the sense of mysteriousness, the lighting, an array of colors from reds and yellows to greens and purples, created the illusion of a dark and foreboding area where anything could occur.

Though the theme may cause controversy among the cast mates, everyone tends to agree that the people, whether friends or not, performed very well.

“I really enjoyed working with the cast and crew; I met so many new people through the show. I think the whole freshman cast, all the older directors [and] stage managers really bonded, Levy said. The good times seemed plentiful within the group.

“I love the cast! The size of the cast isn’t as important as the people who make it up, Clayton said.

The Freshman Play gives people the unique opportunity to make new friends.

“I am now very good friends with my co-star, Sean, who I had never met before the play; I also rekindled some old friendships too, Scharlin-Pettee said.

As friendships grew, so did the appreciation for the show’s director.

“Adam was an amazing director, who made some really interesting choices in the play. He was very kind and driven to help us become better actors, Levy said.

Being a part of South Stage is an experience from which many opportunities arise.

Many freshmen from the cast of José and His Monsters plan on continuing their acting careers with South Stage, and any are excited to participate in the upcoming shows, Cabaret and Sweet Charity.

“I am proud to be a novice theatre geek, Clayton said.


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