The curtains open on a new year for the theatre department


By Brianna Meeks

Last week, Tuscarora students auditioned for Shenanigans, the improv group, as well as the fall play, Noises Off.

Shenanigans is a small group of students who put on frequent shows throughout the year, unique in that they have no scripts but create scenes and situations off the tops of their heads. Noises Off, featuring 9 students, clad not only in period costumes but British accents as well, will begin performances this fall, November 21-23.

On Tuesday, September 10th, students took the stage prepared with comedic monologues, hoping they might make it to the second round of auditions for Noises Off callbacks.

At callbacks the next day, students received the chance to read out of the script, trying to prove to the directors that they truly fit the roles they were reading for.

Thursday found Shenanigans hopefuls taking the stage, prepared not with a monologue but with a quick mind and a sense of humor.

Significant amounts of stress can be heaped upon auditions, and most students claim to have a love-hate relationship with the entire process.

Senior Jessica Matera said, “It can be nerve-wracking, but ultimately it’s a lot of fun, especially when it’s a comedic monologue and you can hear people laughing.”

Junior Charlie Allworth, who auditioned for the first time this year, agreed, saying, “I thought it was a great experience.”

The pressure doesn’t stop once students successfully audition and receive (or don’t receive) parts in the show. Noises Off will be an extremely ambitious endeavor, and the pressure will be on everyone involved to put on a flawless show.

The pressure increases even more when students remember that it is a Cappies show. The small cast of Tuscarora students will compete against 54 other high schools in the DC area for the coveted Cappies awards — the Tonys of high school theatre. Students can win Cappies not only through acting, but through many other venues as well, including light design, sound design, and stage crew.

Mr. Daniel, the drama teacher and director of these theatre productions, has tried to maximize the potential for earning Cappies awards by offering more opportunities for student leadership in the drama department.

“Our main focus this year in the theatre department,” shared Mr. Daniel, “is inclusivity, meaning we’re trying to include as many students as possible, both onstage and backstage.”

The theatre department, like every department in Tuscarora, has grown tremendously over the past three years. Last year’s major productions, The Crucible and The Sound of Music, were big hits with cast members and audience members alike. Ms. Cupps, an English teacher said, “It was very exciting getting to see all the students getting involved.”

And while Shenanigans doesn’t get as much publicity as the major productions, it does produce regular shows that always leave audience members in a happier state than when they arrived.

With auditions finished, the spotlight is on for the newly chosen members of Shenanigans and Noises Off to follow through and put on some fabulous shows.