by Sarah Chandler
According to Drama Teacher and Play Director Mr. Daniel Devlin, Stage Door chronicles the story of a group of aspiring actresses living in a boardinghouse in 1930’s New York City. It follows their highs and lows as they try to make a living in the theater.
“I chose the play because I wanted to find a show that fits the actors. In Stage Door there are 22 female roles and 11 male roles, which reflects the ratio we have this year in the theater department,” said Devlin. “There are so many talented actresses so it gives them a chance to shine.”
Currently, the production is working on blocking the play. “Blocking out the scenes while running [through the script] allows us to visualize how the play will look,” said junior Matt Lynn who plays playwright Keith Burgess. “I think it’s coming together very well.”
Junior Megan Mulrooney, who plays Mrs. Orcutt, the owner of the boarding house, said that they will be ready for the opening night: “The problems of people forgetting their lines and missing cues still happens now, but by the week before we open we’ll have fixed all those problems.”
Devlin stated that the play does come with difficulties that the cast is working to overcome. “One of the most difficult parts has been getting the girls to understand what life was like in the 1930s,” said Devlin. “There were a lot more limitations then and it was a very different time.”
According to Devlin, the play also touches on some serious topics: “One character commits suicide, another has given up performing and relies on men…. Both require mature emotions for actors. We are working on how to convey that.”
One problem the production has not had to deal with is the pressure of recent budget cuts. “The entire production of the play besides the director’s stipend has been funded by the students through fundraising and donations. I am very lucky to have such passionate students,” stated Devlin.
According to junior Michaela Tropeano, who plays the show’s main character, Terry, this passion carries over to rehearsal. “Being with everyone and having this experience is so rewarding,” said Tropeano. “Everyone is so passionate about what they are doing and it’s wonderful to see the play slowly transform into our own creation.”
Lynn said: “The other actors are so talented, so it pushes me to work that much harder. You always react to others so it’s been interesting playing off the other actors.”
Junior Taylor Jackson, who plays Jean in the show, encouraged students to come see the show because “there are a lot of new faces and talent and everyone is getting their moment to shine.”
Devlin is confident that students will enjoy seeing the show. Said Devlin: “The play is about finding what’s true in your heart and following it. Every student wants to be successful and this is a play is about young people pursuing their dreams as well as confronting reality. Everyone can relate to that.”
Performances of Stage Door will be on Thursday Nov. 17 at 4:00 p.m. and Nov. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.