Drama Guild to Open with Comedies

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Photo by Krithik Rajasegar

UD2s Israel Small (left) and Guitze Rodriguez rehearse their lead roles in the Drama Guild’s upcoming production.

The members of St. Benedict’s Drama Guild will be performing two one-act plays this coming weekend —  “The Proposal” by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and “The Romancers” by French poet and dramatist Edmond Rostand.

Chekhov’s “The Proposal” was written in 1890. The story moves at a fast pace and much of the action centers on dialogue and humorous situations. The plot centers around the activities of a young man, Lomov, who wants to propose to his neighbor, Natalya. However, the pair ends up arguing on different topics.

Theater Teacher Ms. Patricia Flynn maps out set ideas with Tech Crew members Eric Straker and James Dolores. (Photo by Krithik Rajasegar.)

“The Romancers” by Rostand represents the style of sentimentalism and escapism common to the Romantic artistic movement of his time. The main characters are Percinet and Sylvette. Percinet is the son of Bergamin and Sylvette is the only daughter of Pasquino. Both parents want  their children to marry each other. Rostand is perhaps best known for his play, “Cyrano de Bergerac.” 

Drama Guild members have been rehearsing and constructing the set since January to prepare for the performances.  “There were two weeks when we were virtual nearly every day because of the quantity of snow that had been heaped in the area,” said Ms. Patricia Flynn, SBP’s Theater teacher. “Eventually, they were able to clear the space, and get back to rehearsing live, and constructing the set.”

There are thirteen students involved in this production, including eight actors and five technicians. Israel Small, Rashaun Bertrand, and Guitze Rodriguez are in The Marriage Proposal. Keisnalall Garib, Francois Jean-Baptiste, Zahir Cenesca, Sanjay Garib, and Daniel Campos are in The Romancers. The technicians are Eric Straker, James Dolores, Jason Jones, Jon-Paul Farris, and Jayden Nunez.

To create a set in time for the spring production, members of the Drama Guild rehearsed and built sets for weeks, despite weather challenges. (Photo by Krithik Rajasegar)

This play, reflecting pandemic sensibilities like social distancing, will take place in the open air in the handball court near the Business Office. Rehearsing outdoors during the winter has been difficult. “It has been challenging working outside,” Ms. Flynn said. “The temperature, the wind, and the snow have all impeded rehearsing the plays, and building the set.”

Audience members are being asked to bring their own chairs. “Ushers will help keep everyone socially distanced,” Ms. Flynn said. “First come, first served in terms of seating placement.”

Despite weather challenges, Ms. Flynn and the Drama Guild forged on. Mr. Brian Collins, the husband of Associate Headmaster Ms. Michelle Tuorto, greatly assisted the production with his designs for theater lighting. Mr. Collins, a lighting expert, works in Broadway productions.

Performances will take place Friday, March 19, Saturday, March 20, and Sunday, March 21. The William Street gate will open at 7 p.m. and all performances will start at 7:30 p.m. A rain date has been scheduled for Monday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required and are being taken by Ms. Mary Hauck in the Advancement Office.

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