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Drama stages ‘who done it’ mystery

As the performances of “The Man Behind the Mask” draw closer, the drama class hastens to complete set backdrops and memorize lines for the annual play.

The drama class will perform at Ground Zero at 7 P.M., May 9-10. However, the crew will provide the student body with a preview, May 9. Tickets cost $5 and are available from director Tom McEntee or any drama student. Pizza and drinks will be sold during the lunch performance.

“The play is basically a spoof on ‘The Phantom of the Opera’,” McEntee said. “We’re imitating the original musical in a comical way, so it’s a murder mystery that you can laugh at.”

Featuring the cast of a soap opera, “The Man Behind the Mask” incorporates modern-day antics with a quirky love story.

“It (the play) has a unique soap opera cast who constantly fight and argue with each other,” Nacoya Villegas, ’10, actress of Eve Potter, said. “Then there’s a masked villain character who falls in love with the star of the soap opera and kills two cast members.”

Ani Paparigian, ’09, plays Regina Brooks, the star of the soap opera.

“Regina Brooks is the star of the soap opera,” Paparigian said. “She’s young and all the guys like her, but then the masked man kidnaps her.”

The masked villain, played by Stowe Empereur, ’11, and Sean O’Neal, ’08, was a former cast member on the opera who seeks revenge for his suspension.

“The ‘phantom’ is a masked man who used to work with the cast of the soap opera, but got cut out of the script,” Paparigian said. “Now he haunts the place and his mind can’t tell the difference between the soap opera and real life.”

Although the drama class began practicing the play in February, many students have yet to memorize their lines, creating stress for other actors in addition to preproduction disarray.

“It gets very hectic towards the end because there’s so much going on, like building sets, memorizing lines and working together,” Villegas said. “It requires a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of dedication to put on a play.”

Villegas recognizes the importance of cooperation among students.

“It’s not just you on the stage, it’s a whole group of people depending on you and your performance,” Villegas said. “You have to work as a team to be successful.”

In addition to actors, the production of a play requires someone to control the lighting and sound effects. Brittney Broome, ’10, became the light and sound coordinator for drama after acting in eighth grade.

“I acted in eighth grade, but didn’t like it, so McEntee offered the job of lights and sounds to me,” Broome said. “Without us doing lights and sounds, they wouldn’t have a play because no one would be able to see the actors and there wouldn’t be any sound effects.”

Despite last-minute preparations, McEntee looks forward to the performance and anticipates being surprised by the actors’ ability.

“I’m looking forward to being surprised about how well people do,” McEntee said. “I’m usually amazed after each play because throughout the whole rehearsal process I’ve been waiting for people to do something and they often do it during the performance.”

For more information on drama, check out Sarah Ingersol’s April 4, 2008, article, Drama highlights young star or Jennifer Rose’s April 16, 2008, article, FCC competition benefits drama.

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