East actors attend auditions for winter theatrical production ‘Secret Garden’

Auditions for the winter production ‘The Secret Garden’ were held on November 4th & 5th. The production itself will run January 23rd through 25th. Photo by Amani Kerdjoudj.

Students came together on November 4th and 5th in room B160 — or as the student actors call it, ‘The B16’ — to audition for the winter show. Anxious yet excited chatter filled the room as students ran their lines and paced back and forth. Enormous amounts of passion were in everyone’s eyes as they practiced their monologues in all types of ways: some yelling their lines towards a blank wall and others whispering quietly in a corner.

Upon entry, students were able to run their lines last minute and shake off their nervous jitters. At 3 p.m., students started to turn in their audition forms and began to audition. The nervous tension in the room slowly seeped out, leaving the student’s passion and energy.

The winter show features 10-year-old Mary Lennox who lives with her aristocratic family in India. After the tragedy of her parents’ death, Mary is forced to move to England to live with her widowed uncle Archibald Craven. Upon her arrival, she discovers her uncle’s mansion is filled with magical mysteries.

Junior Malika Ouro-Sama said the show caught her eye due to its magical charm and happy ending. She said the realistic aspect of the show going hand in hand with the childish curiosity balanced out the storyline perfectly. Ouro-Sama auditioned with a monologue specifically from the script.

“My favorite part of my monologue is the end because of how emotionally raw and sad it is,” Ouro-Sama added. “That’s what impacts people the most about it.”

Director Kate Belovsky explained how the storyline circulates around the overall theme of coming of age. It dips into topics like finding oneself, social tolerance, and social class by bringing up prominent topics in society and weaving them into a captivating story.

“This is a classic children’s story that is audience and community friendly. I grew up with it in my home so it has always been in the back of my mind to do this show … It’s very much of a bloom where you’re planted kind of story,” Belovsky said.

Junior Cameron Andrea, similarly to Ouro-Sama, said he felt like the magic of the show really made it stand out and made him inclined to be a part of the show.

“Looking at the uniqueness of this upcoming show gets me excited to think of how cool the set will look … I enjoy being able to display a range of different emotions throughout the whole show,” Andrea said.

“Looking at the uniqueness of this upcoming show gets me excited to think of how cool the set will look … I enjoy being able to display a range of different emotions throughout the whole show.”

— junior Cameron Andrea

Junior Rhiannon Rannochio explained how she always gets nervous when she auditions, even though she has been in countless live performances before. However, this actress said that she didn’t allow her cold feet to get in the way, rather, she chose a specific monologue that best suited her and vigorously prepared ahead of time.

“I am using Martha’s [a good-natured Yorkshire maidservant] monologue for my audition. I chose her because I honestly can really resonate with her character,” Rannochio said. “Last year in the winter show, I played a character really similar to her and I genuinely felt at home, so I would really like to relive that again.”

Interestingly, senior Devin Kenworthy said she felt the same way as Rannochio. She explained how she was also interested in portraying Martha because she said she felt like she could relate to her simple demeanor in the show.

 Each winter audition is slightly different from the last, so this time around, the students were given character sides, which are short excerpts from the script that students test out.

“The character sides help with the auditions because they allow the directors to try out their actors in different roles to get an idea of what characters they can play well,” Rannochio said.

Freshman Alvin Chapagai found that he was inspired to audition after watching Hamilton.  He found that seeing the bright lights, the live passion, and the overall theatrical environment gave him the confidence he needed to audition for the winter play.

“I was so nervous auditioning, since I’ve never done it before. It was really scary going up because everyone was watching. But I prepared my monologue with lots of emotion and excitement so I hope that helped,” Chapagai said.

Junior Charlie Schmelzer has been a part of theater ever since he stepped foot at East three years ago. Being a part of the theater scene for so long has helped him to become more comfortable in his own skin as well as participate in a variety of shows.

“This show is a really amazing story that is a lot different than what we have been producing. The last few shows mostly dealt with tragedy so this really contrasts with its lighthearted and overall nice storyline,” Schmelzer added.

The winter show auditions had a large and talented turnout of an array of East’s actors and actresses. The official show will take place on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of January at 7 p.m.

Amani Kerdjoudj is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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