Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Very Busy Time

It seems to me that every time during the school year is a very busy time, but the end of the school year seems to be the busiest!

Our competition students are getting ready for the national events in the U.S., and that means forms to complete, travel arrangements to detail, and of course rehearsals for the individual competition pieces.

As if all of that weren't enough, the Thespians also stage two one-act plays--one presented by the Junior Thespians, and one by the high school Thespians.

This year's one-acts will take us back in time to the middle-ages/early Renaissance period in Spain.

The Junior Thespians present THE MAGIC OF SALAMANCA, based on the Cervantes play, "The Cave of Salamanca." You can see an original 1915 costume design from the Russian Vesvlod Meyehold Studio here. It is being directed by SSHS freshman Anna Rose Deleon Guerrero, and will feature the talents of Reece Brown, Royze Banados, Zalika Joyner, Ray Mark Denora, Dayanara Flores, and Tony Bai. The play is an adaptation of the maxim "when the cat's away, the mice will play."

The high school Thespians will produce another play, THE MARVELOUS PLAYBILL, also set in Spain. It is being directed by MHS junior Matt Wheat, and features the usual suspects (Tommy Baik, Moon Hsu Lee, Adelayah Mojica, Miki Nadia and Akiko Dela Cruz, Liezel Tiples, Aisha Joyner, Dowen Jocson, Tori Brown, etc.)! It contains a "play within a play" and will remind the viewers of the folk-tale, "The Emperor Has No Clothes."

Also there will be a third play, recently added, called THE COURTERS, in the same style. Student actors in this one include Roland Arii, Dennis Chen, Ruthie Quiatchon, Chantee, and others.

These one-acts introduce a style that draws on Commedia dell'Arte.

With stock characters and specific costumes, the commedia dell'arte gave room for improvisation, character development and physical stunts on stage that introduced professional acting to Europe. It also enlivened theatre to attract large audiences.

Commedia dell'Arte is still an active force in theatre today. We recently saw a 20th century American version of Commedia dell'Arte style here in Saipan in THE FANTASTICKS, produced by Friends of the Arts. If you want to research, there is a lot of information available online.

Our Thespians productions will no doubt be enjoyable and help our students practice more theatre techniques. And then they'll take these one-act plays to the ITS Festival at Lincoln, Nebraska, where the high school Thespians will perform in the CHAPTER SELECT Showcase, and the junior thespians will stage their one-act in the Freestyle arena.

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