Tag Archives: Theater

“Eliza? Where The Devil Are My Slippers?” Review On The DSHS Production Of My Fair Lady

 

The Dripping Springs High School January production, My Fair Lady, starred the talented duo of  senior Trinity Adams as Eliza Doolittle and junior Connor Bailey as Mr. Higgins.

The musical tells the lighthearted comedy of a young cockney woman, Eliza, who is anything but a high class woman of England as she dresses in raggedy dresses and sells flowers at the local market. With the lack of manners and her inability to properly speak English, phonetics professor Mr. Higgins immediately notices her causing a scene at the market. Soon she sees Mr. Higgins hidden on the side taking notes about her speech, which upsets her even more. Mr. Higgins states that in six months he could transform this wretched young woman to a proper lady by teaching her how to speak, dress, and act correctly in high society. Then an older gentleman who studies Indian phonetics, Colonel Pickering (Rob Thomas), approaches Mr. Higgins as they both greet each other in excitement as they have been wanting to meet for quite some time; Mr. Higgins soon insists that Colonel Pickering stay at his home.

Pickering and Mr. Higgins discuss phonetics at his home. Mrs. Pearce (Kamrie Holmes), the housekeeper, notifies Mr. Higgins that Eliza is here to see him. Eliza asks Mr. Higgins to give her speech lessons so that she will be able to work in a flower shop, but she has barely any money to offer him. Instead, Colonel Pickering’s interest in this matter makes him propose a bet to Mr. Higgins that he would be incapable of correcting Eliza’s speech and that he would pay Mr. Higgins for her lessons. Mr. Higgins gladly accepts his bet with confidence, and Eliza is immediately sent with Mrs. Pearce to get cleaned up and settled in Mr. Higgins home.

Months pass as the Mr. Higgins and Eliza do various exercises with different technique and tools to help her speech, but it has not yet improved which causes frustrations between them both. Finally, after reciting the exercise “the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain,” a countless amount of times, Eliza finally pronounced the syllables properly.

Therefore they attend Ascot, an elegant horse racing event, and Mr. Higgins has high hopes for Eliza’s behavior and speech. Once Eliza starts talking with people, she introduces inappropriate subjects of discussion and yells a crude remark to one of the horses during the race. Mr. Higgins realizes that Eliza wasn’t ready for Ascot and continues to teach her to prepare her for their next event: The Embassy ball.

The night for the Embassy ball arrives and Mr. Higgins, once again, has high hopes for Eliza, and this time, she does not disappoint. Eliza was the most talked about woman at the ball as she was the embodiment of class and beauty. However, once the ball is over, and once Mr. Higgins won his bet against Colonel Pickering, Mr. Higgins disregards Eliza completely saying he doesn’t need her anymore, so she leaves in the middle of the night.

Soon, Eliza stumbles across her father (Nathan Dahill) and she is shocked to find him dressed in a fancy expensive suit and that he will be getting married the next morning. Then Freddy (Michael Thornton), who greatly loves Eliza since he met her at Ascot, approaches her and wants to profess his feeling to her. However, Eliza is so tired of talking and words that she wants Freddy to show her his love, not to tell her; and so he does.

After a few hours, Mr. Higgins and Mrs. Pearce realize that Eliza has left and Mr. Higgins can’t understand why she would leave when everything was going so well.

Mr. Higgins, sad to see Eliza gone because he loves her dearly but was never able to bring himself to tell her, listens to an old recording of one of her voice lessons and closes his eyes. Then the recording from the phonograph abruptly stops and he opens his eyes to see Eliza standing in front of him, then he asks “Eliza? Where The Devil Are My Slippers?”

The DSHS ensemble of actors who took on these ambitious roles of My Fair Lady did a beyond excellent job in portraying each of these characters.

Eliza Doolittle, played by Trinity Adams, was the perfect fit. Adams executed Eliza brilliantly from beginning to end with the combination of her singing, dancing, theatrical mannerisms, and her hilarious cockney accent that had to be difficult to learn. When I found out Adams would be playing Eliza Doolittle, I had no doubt that she would be capable of filling the shoes of this big role as I greatly enjoyed her character from Noises Off  a few months ago.

I was also highly impressed with Connor Bailey’s portrayal of Mr. Higgins in My Fair Lady. I especially took notice to his way of using the entire stage in his dance numbers and his extreme animation in mannerisms throughout the play.

The entire cast deserves a round of applause for their amazing dance and singing numbers, especially the dance number of Act II Scene III. To conduct a dance number as they did with that many people and of such complexity and skill was one of my favorite scenes in the entire play.

Another notable element of this production was the set. I was concerned about this at first because after seeing the 1964 film of My Fair Lady, I was unsure if they’d be able to create a set that could accommodate the different settings of the play. However, my concern vanished after seeing the first scene of the play. With the two levels of the set, the signs for the Flower Market (especially the Joe Burns sign), the staircase, and the colorful lighting and projection of various images shining through the set all together created a one of a kind set for this play. The crew did an excellent job with smooth transitions of sets between scenes.

The costumes also concerned me after seeing the film due to their extreme extravagance, especially for the Ascot racing scene. The black and white attire of the men and women were gorgeous in the movie, and turned out to also be gorgeous in the play. I was a little disappointed in Eliza’s dress in this particular scene, as well as in the Embassy Ball scene. They were wonderful dresses, but they weren’t as intricate, flamboyant, and extravagant as I thought they would be.

Overall, I give the DSHS production of My Fair Lady 4 out of 5 stars. For the theater  department to tackle such a classic and timeless musical such as My Fair Lady deserves the utmost respect and applause. However, I felt at some parts of the play, it droned on for a little too long and there were minor discrepancies in the set.

I also really enjoyed the fact they incorporated a live orchestra; they did a wonderful production of the music, especially how they began the musical.

The capability and productions of DSHS never cease to amaze and only get better and better each time. I am looking forward to their next project The Marowitz Hamlet as I’m sure will be another hit.

 

 

Written by Alyssa Weinstein

Staff Writer

Stars shine bright at DSHS

The curtain opens up on a bustling stage, people quietly conversing and joining their friends. Many of them are dressed in old, tarnished clothes, but a good number are also draped in fine fabrics. The cast of DSHS’ “My Fair Lady” stands onstage, ready to blow the audience away.

On January 26 through 30, the DSHS Theatre Department is putting on the show My Fair Lady in the High School’s auditorium. Since November, the cast and crew have worked to make the show perfect, and tickets to see it are only five dollars for students and seniors, and 10 for adults.

“So, the show is about a Cockney woman named Eliza Doolittle, and she meets a professor named Henry Higgins,” ensemble member Cassie Martin said. “He is a phonetics professor who is going to teach her how to speak, be, and act like a lady in a matter of six months.”

Set in London, in 1912, “My Fair Lady” is an older tale about the transformation that Eliza goes through with catchy songs and dance numbers added to the mix.

“I enjoy [the song] ‘On the Street Where You Live’ even though I’m not in it,” Jane Unger, ensemble member, said. “I think it’s very cute and lovely.”

Songs such as these, though, don’t come at the flick of a wrist. Lots of time and effort is put into preparing a number, learning it, and cleaning it until it’s show-ready.

“I don’t even think there really is a normal rehearsal,” Nathan Dahill, who plays Alfie Doolittle, said. “There’s a warm-up, vocal warm-up, and then jumping into a scene or jumping into a song and just running that like crazy until you get all the finite details down.”

Though putting together a show does take a lot of hard work, cast members still find their efforts enjoyable and strive to have fun, even with opening night looming over them.

“The most fun part of participating in the show is the bonds that you make with your fellow cast members,” Martin said. “It’s just fun putting a production to life.”

From guest artists to their own talents, the “My Fair Lady” company has made leaps of progress in their months of working together. The cast and crew have learned many things about characterization, vocal technique, dancing, and ways to create intriguing scenes.

“I have learned how complex and twisted my character is, and a little bit about London in 1912,” Dahill said. “I’ve definitely learned how to really push the story forward through song and dance without it just being sing-a-long karaoke, and actually have something to tell.”

After all of the mornings, afternoons, and evenings dedicated to the show, many people are ready for their efforts to be showcased.

“People should come and see it because we’ve been working so hard, the cast is great, and the crew has also worked very hard,” Caroline Sprague, ensemble member, said. “The set’s really good [and] costume crew is A1.”

But with opening night drawing closer, the preparedness of the company comes into question. However, there’s no need to worry; the members of the cast are sure that they’ll be ready to shine when the time comes.

“I’m not super nervous, mostly because I’m an ensemble member so I don’t have a ton to do, but I have confidence in other people,” Eliana Glenn, ensemble member, said. “We’re going to do great.”

 

 

Written by Kathryn Haberman

Staff Writer

My Fair Lady

Coming to the Dripping Springs High School Theater on January 26, is the musical classic, My Fair Lady.

“I think it’ll be a stunning production. With a stunning team, it will be magnificent. It’s a high school production of professional caliber,” said male lead, junior Connor Bailey.

“We were looking for a big show that is appropriate and appealing for all age groups and that would be a good fit for the talent we have,” said director Rachael Koske. After a long thought process, My Fair Lady has been selected to display the talents to be found within thespians at DSHS.

“We started planning [for the show] last spring,” said Koske. Rehearsals will take place for slightly less than two months before the musical to ensure its success.

“We have the least time we’ve ever had, but it will be one of the best shows we’ve ever had,” said female lead and senior Trinity Adams. With a cast and crew of 65 members, My Fair Lady is expected to be full of color and liveliness.

“Henry Higgins really cares what he does and I really care about musical theatre,” said Bailey. The actors playing in My Fair Lady are fit to their characters and should embody them rightfully.

“Wild, obnoxious, dirty- that’s me,” said Adams. The quirky nature of Eliza Doolittle fits the wonderful eccentricities of Trinity Adams quite perfectly.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we can make the themes in the show still seem relevant today,” said Koske. The oncoming production is exciting for cast and audience alike.

“I think Dripping Springs High School Theatre has a pretty awesome community and we put on some pretty great shows,” said Bailey. The theatre extends new opportunities to all onlookers with spectacular outcomes.

“I hope to gain the ability to build a character that is intriguing beyond a surface level,” said Adams. Musicals as a whole provide great experience in working with a group, hard work, commitment, and dancing and singing skills.

“The theatre program is fantastic, so come see the show,” said Bailey. My Fair Lady opens on January 26 in the high school auditorium. Come support your DSHS thespians and follow the show Twitter, @DSHSMyFairLady!

 

Written by Emily Curran

Staff Writer

Doors and Sardines, Doors and Sardines!

The Dripping Springs High School’s theatre department kicked off their season with the comical farce Noises Off, written by Michael Frayn. This is the most eccentric play I have seen the DSHS theatre department tackle by far, but they could not have done a better job of capturing the hilarity of the reality of what happens behind-the-scenes in theatre.

Noises Off brilliantly represents the life of the actors, directors, and backstage managers of the play Nothing On in three acts of clever screenplay. Each act changes perspective and scenery of the play Nothing On. Act One showed the viewer how rehearsal can be stressful and tedious, especially if the ensemble only has six hours till the doors open. Act Two showed the viewer what happens back stage while the show, Nothing On is being performed. Lastly, Act Three gave the viewer the actual performance of Nothing On.

As the curtains were raised for Act One, I was immediately impressed by the set design; it was the most elaborate set I have seen from DSHS theatre. There were minor discrepancies in parts of the set, but nothing that large is worth noting. In this act, I was most impressed with the acting of Cameron Adkins and Jaxson Thornton.

Adkins portrayed the director of Nothing On, Lloyd Dallas, who I found comical, as well as relatable. I really enjoyed Adkins’ character, as throughout the first act, he is with us in the audience. Adkins played Lloyd Dallas, the director of Nothing On. I most appreciated Adkins’ performance due to him being an extremely interactive character. He was constantly moving from the audience, to actually being on the stage with the other characters. He was also able to act annoyed, angry, and frustrated while not having to be front and center of the stage; which also impressed me.

In addition to Adkins, Jaxson Thornton also gave a noteworthy performance as Freddy Fellowes, an actor of the play Nothing On. One of the most unbelievable performances of the play was when Thornton’s character had a predicament with his trousers. I found this scene one of the most hilarious parts of the play and what also looked quite taxing for Thornton to perform, and I applaud him for it.

Once again, I was impressed with the set design for Act Two. It was accurate to what backstage looks like for actors with details such as the doors labeled of what room they are, the backstage manager’s podium, and the heaps of costumes and sheets thrown over the railings of the set.

I was most amazed with this act by its capability to make me laugh so much with minimal dialogue (aside from the dialogue spoken by the actors performing Nothing On on the other side of the set). This act was mainly composed of extremely animated mannerisms and gestures among the actors, which is incredibly hard to pull off without spoken words. In this act, I especially enjoyed the performances of Trinity Adams and Logan Dundon.

I found that these two actors did an incredible job of giving a very dramatic performance in this act with minimal dialogue. In Adams’ performance of the actress Belinda Balir, I especially liked her high-speed acting as she was constantly running, jumping around everywhere; she was quite a pistol. Along with Adams’ performance, I also enjoyed Dundon’s performance of the unstable, but comical character of the actor in Nothing On, Garry Lejeune. With the combination of Dundon’s character banging his head and foot on the post of the set, wanting to slash his co-stars with an axe, and drinking, he really did a remarkable job of playing this character.

Lastly for Act Three, the audience got to see the final performance of the play Nothing On. The set returns back to the front view of the setting for Nothing On.  In this act, everything goes awry for the actors of Nothing On. The cues are off, lines are forgotten, too many understudies appear, and one of the characters even had a head injury; but the show must go on.

The actors in this final act I enjoyed the most were Grayson Ruiz and Nathan Dahill. Though neither of their characters are exactly leading roles, their performances were still very well done. What I appreciated most about Ruiz’s performance is her very comical, high-pitch accent as it further supplements the hilarity of her character’s clumsiness and forgetfulness.

Also with Dahill’s performance, he did an excellent job as well by playing the drunken old actor of Selsdon Mowbray. Dahill’s stance, drunken mannerisms, and the way he spoke all exhibited his high quality acting in portraying this peculiar character.

Overall, I give Dripping Spring High School theatre’s Noises Off a 4.5 out of 5 stars. All the actors in this play each gave the audience an incredible performance. What I appreciated the most out of all the actors were their dedication to master English accents, which truly exemplified the play. I can foresee all the actors doing extremely well in their next production, My Fair Lady, coming in January 2017.

 

 

Written by Alyssa Weinstein

Staff Writer

The Spotlight on DSHS Theatre

 

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The theater team practices their British accents for their October production, Noises Off

The DSHS theatre department has high hopes this year, beginning with their first production, Noises Off. Theater director Rachel Koske is looking forward to this classic comedy that the team has wanted to do for a long time.

 

Noises Off will be the department’s big, hilarious jumpstart to this year’s lineup of productions, which include the musical My Fair Lady, The Laramie Project, and The Marowitz Hamlet. These plays will give the theatre students a variety to work on and at the same time will challenge the team,” Koske said.

The Dripping Springs community can expect this year’s theatre productions to be better than ever with more extensive sets along with bigger production values.

However, now that the two leading stars, Joey Kelly and Trey Stallings have graduated, the school and community wonders how the theatre department will change without their high-level acting presence on stage.

Being a theatre teacher, Koske realized over the years that even though the strongest talent may leave, there is always new and young talent waiting to be discovered. The departures of Kelly and Stallings simply creates space for new actors to make their big break. Who knows, we may see the next Joey Kelly or Trey Stallings reincarnated on stage this year.

“The DSHS theatre department’s main goal this year is not to suck and, most importantly, to utilize everyone to the best of our skill levels,” Koske said.

She hopes to combine everyone’s different strengths and backgrounds to create the best productions possible. The theatre department’s goal for 2017 is to perform a play in one of Scotland’s great art festivals, but they must raise enough money from this year’s productions.

Koske tells her aspiring actors to tell the truth. She does not believe that acting is pretending, as most people do. Her philosophy is to always be honest on stage; that is what the audience comes to see.

“It’s hard—harder than what you think,” Koske said. “Acting is purely taking the mask off, and being truthful to yourself, and to your audience.”

Written by Alyssa Weinstein

Staff Writer

Behind the scenes of a theater production

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Joey Kelley and Kamrie Holms in the dressing room before performing “Fiddler on the Roof”

After seeing “High School Musical” time and time again, most of us think we have a pretty good idea of what it would be like to be in a theater production. You would have a ton of rehearsals, you would memorize lines and paint sets, and of course, there would be a ton of drama between all of the people in the show. However, theater productions at Dripping Springs High School are not quite like this.

“In reality, it’s very different than it sounds like it would be on the outside,” Joey Kelley said. “It’s a lot of work, especially musicals. You have rehearsal for 4 or 5 hours together every single day for weeks and weeks. The cast really becomes a family through all the hard work. And it’s not like ‘Oh I wanna do this because I want a family,’ it’s just because of the stupid amounts of time that you spend with each other that you end up just becoming a family that loves each other and has a ton of fun together.”

Kelley played the male lead, Tevye, in “Fiddler on the Roof.” He has been in almost all of the theater productions at the high school for the past four years, but this year’s musical was different than all the productions he had previously been in.

“For some odd reason this production was really different,” Kelly said. “I think it’s mostly because I don’t really hang out with a lot of people lately because a lot of my friends graduated last year. Making new friends during the process was fun and new. This year almost all of our seniors were people that I was not friends with previously. Now we’re all hanging out and just playing video games together, because we all saw each other for four hours every single day and never hung out outside of school, but now we’re going to hang out all the time, just because we’re gonna miss each other.”

Junior Seth Krzeminski also felt like the cast of “Fiddler on the Roof” really became a family over the course of putting together the production.

You meet a lot of new people and since you’re all focused on the same thing, the process of becoming friends is a lot faster than if you had just met them in school,” Krzeminski said. “It’s also just a new experience and it’s amazing to see everything come together, like all the technical elements. The teachers are really chill too, they’re more of friends than teachers and it makes the whole process really fun and enjoyable.”

Overall, Kelley and Krzeminski love being in productions. They love the people, the experience, and being able to see all their hard work pay off in the end.

“Being in a production, what it really comes down to is doing something that you love, with people that you love,” said Kelley. “Even if you don’t love them at the beginning, you will by the end.”

Madison Green

Features Editor

 

Upcoming theater productions of ‘Fiddler’ marks first

IMG_1521.JPGFor Grayson Ruiz, this year’s DSHS Theater production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” marks a first in her young theatrical career.

“I wanted to try out for the musical because I haven’t done one at the high school,” the sophomore said. “It seemed like a really fun experience.”

According to Ruiz, being in the musical has been a great experience.

“I love being in the musical,” Ruiz said. ”I get to work with people that I love and are really talented.”

Although the musical has proven to be an overall great experience, Ruiz said that there were some setbacks.

“The hardest part for me being in the musical is trying to balance my schoolwork and theatre,” Ruiz said. “I’m the biggest procrastinator, so balancing my time has been a struggle, but hopefully I can get better at it.”

In the musical, Ruiz takes on the role of Golde, the wife of the lead male role. Ruiz said that she can connect to her character in some ways.

“I can connect with my character because she has a hard, tough personality but on the inside she is really sensitive,” Ruiz said. “People think that Golde doesn’t have any emotion except being stern, but she actually is capable of love and emotions. I would say I would connect with my character in an emotional way.”

Ruiz also said she enjoys working along side her partner Joey Kelly, who plays her husband Tevye.

“We work really well together, I think, because we have been in a lot of productions together,” Ruiz said. “We’re both supportive of each other during the course of the show.”

Although this is only Ruiz’s first musical at the high school, she has a long history with theatre.

“I’ve been doing theatre since I was 8 both in Houston and in Austin when I moved here in 5th grade. I mostly did company theatre in Houston like, I was Annie in Annie, Violet in Willy Wonka, I was also in Sleeping Beauty and The People Garden at Zach Theatre. I’ve done many of the theatre productions at the Middle school such as, Aesops Falables, Letters, Murder Most Foul, Drop Dead Juliet, Bye, Bye Birdie and Annie,” Ruiz said. “So far at the High School I’ve done Lend Me A Tenor in which I was married to Joey actually and now Fiddler on the Roof. I also do Theatre at a summer camp I attend.”

Ruiz said she hopes to pursue theatre in the future.

“I think that I will continue doing theatre in the future,” Ruiz said. “It is a big passion of mine. I would like to continue to do theatre in college and hopefully after college too.”

“Fiddler on the Roof’ opens Jan. 21 at 7:30 pm in the Dripping Springs Performing Arts Center.

Veronica Lopez

Staff Writer

Cast and crew prepare for upcoming Romeo and Juliet play

Romeo and JulietOn October 29th through November 1st, the Dripping Springs High School Theater department will be performing the famous biennial play: Romeo and Juliet. As their first play of the season, it is sure to impress, with the amount of effort that the staff and actors are putting in.

“Right now we’re doing a lot of table work and reading before we actually get up and start doing the show,” Rachael Koske, head of the theater department, said.

Before starting practice, the cast must study Shakespeare’s language to be able to communicate with one another.

“It takes a little bit longer in the rehearsal process when you’re working with Shakespeare, especially with younger actors who haven’t had as much time with it because the language is more dense,” Koske admits. “It is English. We know that, but it is a little bit more dense because it has so much figurative language, metaphors, and imagery in it.”

The lead roles have been given to Joey Kelley, playing Romeo, and Monica Oliva, playing Juliet.

“I’ve never done Shakespeare before so it’s a lot of new things that are happening,” Oliva said. “But it’s really fun and I’m excited to see what happens and what I’ll learn from it.”

Meanwhile, Kelley uses his past experience and interest in Shakespeare to his advantage. “I’ve done two other Shakespearean shows before,” he said. “Honestly, I feel like those were preparation for this one.”

Everyone plans to work seriously to have the best show possible with a vast variety of contributors, new and old.

“We have great staff in place and great students in place whom are working under them as student designers and student coordinators, and stage managers” Koske said.

Oliva and Kelley accept the overbearing responsibility with courage and determination.

“Once you find out what you’ve gotten yourself into, there’s no turning back. It’s hard, yes, but it’s do-able and it’s been done,” Oliva said.

Written by Nifa Kaniga

Staff Writer