StudProd diary: It's over?
Julian Hartman and Larissa Pittenger prepare for their roles in fellow senior Zoë Schein's "Why I Hate Your Boyfriend," one of four plays performed in StudProd 2007 Friday and Saturday in the North Attic Playhouse. Gargoyle photo by Sindha Agha (click to enlarge)
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2007 - 7:54pm
[Note: This entry concludes our backstage look at the making of Uni's annual Student Productions, which ran Friday and Saturday in the North Attic Playhouse. Sophomore actress Anna Gooler began the diary on Tuesday, followed by senior actress Michelle Gao on Wednesday, senior writer-director Kumars Salehi on Friday, and junior writer-director Lauren Piester on Saturday. Senior actor Carl Zielinski wraps things up today.]
WHEN I WOKE up late on Saturday morning, I felt utterly terrible. Somehow, I had developed a cold in the 12 hours after opening night and the cast trip to Espresso Royale.
Feeling like a freight train had run over my head, I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. To my disappointment and horror, my late-night shower had not managed to remove most of the copious amounts of eyeliner my character, Simon, must wear.
As the day progressed, prospects for the performance to come got steadily worse. Around noon, it began to rain. This rain proceeded to freeze, meaning any attempt to get out of my house by car, or foot for that matter, would be quite hazardous. The field-biology work day I had planned on attending was canceled, and it seemed hopeless that StudProd would continue.
Luckily, a miracle occurred and (most of) the ice melted. As such, I put all worries out of my mind and started preparing for the night’s performance. Mostly, this involved eating a large portion of spaghetti.
As 5:30 rolled around, I walked in the south door of Uni, ready to do battle. Or more likely, act for the second — and most likely last — time in my high school career.
Backstage, things rolled much more smoothly than they had the night before. Nobody looked nervous. Everybody seemed very in control and laid-back. That’s not to say everything went well; my director, Lauren Piester, failed miserably at attempting to order sandwiches from Jimmy John’s, and thus some of the cast had to go hungry.
Before I knew it, it was time for the show to start. Now in costume, I waited backstage and listened to the plays that preceded mine. They seemed to go well, and the crowd was much more receptive than the one on opening night. Unfortunately, their laughter was often uncontrolled, and as such they had the tendency to drown out the dialogue onstage.
Zoë Schein’s play went swimmingly, as did Kumars Salehi’s. The crowd even got the “Eva Longoria” joke in Kumars’s play that had bombed the night before.
Unfortunately, the end of Kumars’s play meant intermission, and after that I would have to act. With my scene swiftly approaching, I went through my cross country race and StudProd play anti-stress procedure, which mostly consists of standing, looking catatonic, awaiting my cue.
As the lights went up on the first scene, Michelle Gao, Hannah Leskosky and I looked at a stage that was utterly devoid of actors. Somehow, the lights had gone up before either Jeremy Kemball or Anna Gooler could take their places.
After some frantic scrambling to get everyone onstage and performing, the rest of the play went well. I didn’t forget any lines, nor did anyone else as far as I could tell. I managed to say “I have a knife collection which I polish while thinking about death” with a straight face, although the audience’s laughter drowned out about half of the line.
As I left the stage, I felt exhilarated, relieved, and disappointed. While my acting was fine, I realized that my StudProd experience was over. Forever. No more practice, no more idiotic goofing around in the North Attic late at night, and no more eating at Za’s for dinner three days a week.
When I collapsed into my bed early Sunday morning after the cast party, I still had mixed feelings. Most importantly, I realized that I now need to find something else to do after school before track season starts.
STUDPROD 2007: CAST MEMBERS
"Why I Hate Your Boyfriend" Written & directed by Zoë Schein
- Clara: Sian Best
- Frances: Larissa Pittenger
- Palmer: Julian Hartman
- Bartimus: Deren Kudeki
- Alfred James (AJ): Buck Walsh
"Run to the Sun: A Concise Vignette" Written & directed by Kumars Salehi
- Narrator: Jacob Olshansky
- Waitress: Hannah Lake-Rayburn
- Bartender: Ollie Goldbart
- Flirty Woman: Laura Voitik
- Clerk: Alan Liang
- Nice Girl: Eunice How
"My Parents Think I'm Perfect" Written & directed by Lauren Piester
- Cammy: Hannah Leskosky
- Simon: Carl Zielinski
- Mom: Anna Gooler
- Dad: Jeremy Kemball
- Julie: Michelle Gao
"Can I Have That in a Sentence?" Written & directed by Natsuki Nakamura
- Megan: Diana Liu
- Serena: Brittany Scheid
- Leslie: Maria Gao
- Brandon: James Smith
- Cameo, Old Man: Alan Liang
- Serena's Mom: Jamie Weiser
- Announcer: Adam Joseph
STUDPROD 2007: BEHIND THE SCENES
- Queen of the Crew: Tianna Pittenger
- Lights: Isaure Hostetter
- Sound: Linda Song
- Lighting Design: Natsuki Nakamura & James Smith
- Crew Members: Andrew LaPointe, Maddy Levin, Stephanie Overmier, Lily Smith
- Sponsor: Barbara Ridenour
- Script Adviser: Jen Goheen
- Program: Lauren Piester & Zoë Schein
STUDPROD 2007: AN OVERVIEW OF THE PLAYS
"Why I Hate Your Boyfriend"
by Zoë Schein
Frances is best friends with Clara. Clara is dating Palmer. Frances hates Palmer. Palmer has two hilarious friends named AJ and Bart. Hilarity and cleverness ensue.
"Run to the Sun: A Concise Vignette"
by Kumars Salehi
Can you find the answer to life by drinking Sprite? Watch the play to find out!
"My Parents Think I'm Perfect"
by Lauren Piester
Cammy's got a C in math, and can feel the inevitable wrath of her parents from miles away. She and her friend Julie devise a plan to make them see that bad grades aren't really the worst thing ever.
"Can I Have That in a Sentence?"
by Natsuki Nakamura
Megan is determined to win the school spelling bee and finally beat Brandon, but things get complicated when she is too distracted by the letters to look at the whole word.