By CELINE NGUYEN
November 19 marked the opening night for Stardust, this year’s fall play –a comedy about a group of students getting ready to put on a play of their own. The performance follows Prudence Mason’s (Megan McCarthy [Sr.]) journey of self-discovery after she decides to guest star in a play put on by the drama academy’s eccentric director, Mr. Bach (Ryan Nicholson [Sr.]) and his misguided students. Hollywood agent Jerry Flanagan (Natanael Cho [Sr.]) and Prudence’s flighty best friend Claire Carter (Catalina Fernandez [Jr.]) are added to the mix, and together, offer insights into the meaning of acting and the decisions that accompany the career.
Stardust was an amazing experience. The actors were stunningly convincing; I found myself laughing one second and close to tears the next. I particularly loved Fernandez’s portrayal of Clair Carter and the way she expressed the character’s brash and unapologetic personality. The supporting cast brought the entire production into its own little world, and set design made me feel like I had gone back in time.
I asked the audience about their experience with the production and received delighted responses. Angelica Busciglio (Jr.) said, “This year’s play was sensational! I always enjoy going to performing arts shows because it’s remarkable to see all the dedication and passion behind all the cast and crew.” Alisa Pan (Jr.) said, “I really liked the setting, costumes, and hair/makeup which looked very professional and uniform. I think that made the audience more interested in the play and made the play easier to understand with different actors and costumes.”
After four nights of the performance, the theatre cast and crew of University High School (UHS) are tired yet happy that all of their hard work paid off. We asked Christa Pehrson (Jr.), who played Janet, said, “Performing in Stardust was so much fun because all the characters are so loopy, and there are so many comedic moments that allowed me to just be crazy.”
Behind the scenes of the show, however, is the tech crew that made it all happen. From set design to set construction, lighting and sounds, the UHS Drama Department’s theatre crew worked hard to make the play pull through. Adam Tafoya (Jr.) said, “It was hard work, but a lot of fun, and I’ve never felt closer to any company than this year’s.”
Stardust cost a total of $13,000 to produce, and is hoping to raise around $8,000. The play’s director and producer, Ms. Ranae Bettger (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.), said that most of the proceeds would go towards the production of the Spring Musical.
Like all good things, the fall play has come to an end. For those who went to see it, it definitely was a performance to remember. For those who missed it, consider watching the next UHS Drama Department performance: the Spring Musical.