It would not be the holiday season without a drama club production at Old Rochester Regional High School. The school’s acclaimed drama club always puts on a play during the November/December corridor, and this year, that play is a radio broadcast of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’
Directed by Paul Sardinha and with costumes by Helen Blake, the show’s first night is Thursday, November 20 beginning at 7:30 pm. It plays at the same time on Friday and Saturday nights, and for those wanting to catch an afternoon show, there is a matinee on Sunday, November 23 at 2:00 pm.
Most people are familiar with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ which has become a Christmas classic since its 1946 release. The strong reputation of the film and the inspiring theme of redemption it displays make it a good choice for a holiday play.
Senior Ian MacLellan, a drama club veteran, plays the main character George Bailey in this production. MacLellan cracked a joke about his role, saying, “There are no small parts. I do what I can with the small role I was given.”
For MacLellan, the lead role wasn’t necessarily his goal when he auditioned a few months ago.
“I didn’t really walk in with a part in mind,” he said. “But I did my best and I ended up getting something good.”
MacLellan discussed the radio aspect of the show.
“It’s more about the tone of your voice, though there is some physicality to it. Body language doesn’t matter as much,” he stated, though he seemed to like the idea.
Junior Holly Frink portrays George’s wife, Mary. Although she says she wanted the role of Violet, Frink was happy with the character of Mary and described her attributes.
“She’s married to George. She’s a very sweet woman, always trying to help,” said Frink. “She’s a very selfless woman, and you see how she grows throughout the show.”
When asked what she will remember most about the show, Frink said, “It’s my first lead role, and I’m playing a role of someone I aspire to be like.”
“We’re learning to put all our motions into our voice,” said Frink about the radio show nature of the play. “And we don’t have as much freedom to move around.”
Kylie Machado, a junior, has a small role as a background character.
“This is the first year I’ve been on stage,” said Machado. “I wanted to get a different feel for drama, as I’ve always been backstage working with the crew.”
Machado praised the sense of community the drama club has, and the way Mr. Sardinha works to make it interesting for all participants.
“We learn a lot about drama, and Paul talks about so many different things,” said Machado. “You definitely make a lot of friends.”
After watching a rehearsal of the production, one would agree that the play is coming along well. All the actors and members of the crew, as well as those participating in set design and musical accompaniment, are working hard and showing plenty of devotion to creating memorable performances.
Make sure to catch the play during one of its four showings from November 20 to November 23.
By Patrick Briand