Theatre Ink competes in statewide festival

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”courtesy of Amelia Goldstein” align=”alignnone” width=”536″][/media-credit]

The cast, crew and director of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” pose for a picture after the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild High School Festival, which was held Saturday at Brookline.

by Peter Diamond
A small band of thespians from this school entered the competitive environment of the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild High School Festival at Brookline Saturday, ready to compete against seven other high schools.
At the festival, each participating school performed a one-act non-musical play with a maximum run time of 40 minutes.
Theatre Ink had not participated in the festival for ten years, according to Spanish teacher Daniel Fabrizio, who directed this school’s play for the competition.
“When I came to North last year, I was surprised to learn that such an incredible program didn’t participate in the festival,” said Fabrizio. “I wanted to present a piece, so we could spread the joy of Theatre Ink outside of our own community and so our students could see theatre that was happening in surrounding towns.”
At the festival, sophomores Stephen Kelly and Susannah Thal-Nir and freshman Kirsten Cotter performed a shortened version of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” a three-person comedy by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield.
“Our play was a comedy about three actors trying to do all of Shakespeare’s plays in 40 minutes,” said Kelly.
Fabrizio described the result of this comedic scenario as “a great combination of physical humor and witty dialogue.”
After months of rehearsal, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” entertained an audience of about 100, according to Thal-Nir.
“The festival was fun,” she said. “It was crazy because it was the first time we really had an audience. There were a few pieces of it that didn’t go as planned, but I think for the most part it went well.”
Following the performances was an award ceremony, according to Cotter.
The properties, managed by junior Indigo Asim and freshman Nora Bell, and the costumes, designed and managed by junior Amelia Goldstein and sophomores Jake Ezzell and Daniel Minihan, were awarded Certificates for Technical Excellence, according to Goldstein.
All three performers remarked on the uniqueness of working with such a small cast.
“It was definitely an interesting experience and totally different from the usual-sized shows at North,” said Kelly. “Scheduling was easier, but the size of our show makes teamwork and trust while onstage extremely important.”
Cotter said she especially enjoyed her experience as an actor in this show. “Working in a small cast was fabulous because we all were able to communicate really well, and the three of us became very close,” she said. “We were comfortable giving each other constructive criticism, and we were able to work together in synchronicity onstage.”
Thal-Nir echoed Cotter’s sentiment.
“Small casts are great,” she commented. “We all bonded really well.”
The festival will continue for three upcoming rounds, but “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” will not advance. Other schools were chosen to move onto the semi-final round of the competition.
Even so, Fabrizio looks back at the experience fondly, expressing interest in potentially returning to the festival next year.
“Our students got to see six other shows, meet other kids from area schools and discuss theatre, not to mention the fact that their very entertaining performance had the audience in stitches,” he remarked.
“Not just any three actors can rise to the challenge of this show, but Susannah, Kirsten and Steven dedicated themselves completely to their performances,” he said. “What made the process even more pleasant was the fact that everyone, from stage managers to crew to actors, got along very well. They were like their own little traveling theatre troupe.”