The other day at Upper School Community Time, the group going to the state Trumbauer Festival performed !Artistic Inspiration by Don Zolidis, a play about writing a really bad play. Several of the troupe members, now juniors, are also in AP Language and had written about acting and working together and being friends, or not, over the years. These are a few, but not all, of the pieces they wrote about their experiences with Theatre Randolph.
[Flashback to 2010]
"Our final Middle School Theatre Randolph show in 8th grade was a different take on The Wizard of Oz. Funnier in some parts, more sad in others. The cast was very close. We had inside jokes and funny memories. At the end of the last show, I could hear 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' playing in the background, the signal to run on and bow. That song filled us with happiness and warmth. I still listen to it today to remember... the final curtain call, the cast looking out into the audience, holding hands, crying, waving, and smiling. The lights were shining brightly in our faces so we could barely see the audience, but all of us sensed that this was our best show yet. For a week after the show, I entered Post-Show Depression. It was nice to feel like I belonged somewhere that I enjoyed so much." - Hannah Byers '15
"When I came to Randolph in the 8th grade, I found my niche in theater. I had been taking acting classes at a small local theater and enjoyed being on stage. When I went to the auditions for the Middle School play, Oz, I was introduced to Seth. His acting was so over the top and obnoxious; it fit his personality. During rehearsal, he had these ridiculous fake nails for his Lion character, which he would always use to scratch my Tin Man costume. It drove me mad. Considering he and I both were in theater and had hefty parts, I considered him my arch nemesis. This jealous rivalry on both our sides grew intensely. Randolph put me in a situation just last year where he and I were forced to act alongside each other once again but this time we admitted and apologized about our hate for each other that began in middle school and after hanging out with him and enjoying our favorite art forms together, such as movies and theater, we became best friends. So, for me, I can say that Randolph is the place where your enemies become your friends. - Blake Dang '15
[Flashback to 2011]
"When I first came to Randolph in ninth grade, Seth Watring was my only friend. He has this incredible talent for acting and singing, and it's truly incredible to see someone his age portray a character with such depth and understanding. When he first walks on for his entrance, I can't help but break out in a wide grin. I hold in a giggle as he makes some small nervous movement. Finally the spotlight centers on him as he begins singing or starts his monologue. He finishes his part, and I'm looking very closely so I can see his eyes light up a bit more than usual when the crowd erupts in applause. What's almost better than seeing the finished product is seeing him research or work on a part. Because he's so naturally curious, he would gladly do hours worth of research for even a smaller part. He is a talented friend, and I'm glad I get the chance to work with him when I do." - Sarah Harbaugh '15
"When I first saw him, he was talking. Perry Scalfano was deep into a trivial tirade surrounded by spectators. His arms flailed about his face and his voice reverberated against the walls of the theater. I saw him many times after that, but it was during a rehearsal for the musical Oliver! when Perry and I had our first real conversation. The lights were down, except for the stage lights, and Perry was sitting off alone as he often did. I had debated speaking to him for weeks, but I finally drew up the courage to approach this seemingly unapproachable individual. I slunk down into the seat next to him slowly. We mumbled a few nothings to each other; remarks about the day, compliments on acting, and classes we were taking.
"However, and I will never forget this moment, the conversation rapidly changed into an intense agreement over the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Perry and I just could not stop talking. We would yell at each other, laugh at each other and question each other on all subjects imaginable. Mrs. Voight continually yelled at us both when we missed cues and entrances to the stage because we would just not stop telling each other things. All of the pointless, nonessential facts and information that I had gathered throughout my life had found a welcome and respected home in a Perry/Seth conversation. I remember staring at Perry and realizing that he was going to become one of my closest friends, and he certainly is." - Seth Watring '15
"The Randolph culture is amazing because everyone strives for academic excellence. We all want to achieve the same goal: to be prepared for college. I remember a car ride—I was sitting between Perry and Seth, who had an extremely loud and dramatic conversation regarding which country has had the most successful monarchy. I sat there thinking, 'What teenagers have heated history debates about such a topic?' I realized that learning can be fun and from then on my interest in learning blossomed. This is common of many students at Randolph, to enjoy obtaining knowledge and sharing it with others." - Blake Dang '15
We asked Upper School drama teacher Connie Voight about the intensity of the bonds that actors form through our program. She had this to say: "Being on stage together forces students to examine adversity and explore relationships. Without the ability to dissect the cause and effect of personal relationships, actors fail to grow and blossom as performers in a play or as human beings in the real world."