One Last Time Working Together

Seniors wrap-up rehearsing for their final high school performance

2021 senior Carly Mentis on stage for filming and in her costume for her role of Kate AKA the housewife. The musical “Working” will be aired April 29-30, 2021.

On Wednesday, April 7, the cast and crew of Abington High School’s Drama club wrapped up final filming of their musical “Working.”

The show was pre-recorded due to safety guidelines regarding Covid-19.

On the last day of filming, six cast members reflected on the year. They spoke about the safety precautions that were taken to produce this year’s musical and explained why they are so into drama.

Seniors Isabelle Assaf, Kathryn Genest, Lyla Blanchard, Carly Mentis, Maura Odell and Brendan Remillard all weighed in.

Abington Drama club presents the musical WORKING (https://twitter.com/Music_DramaAPS)

Alex Jernegan: How does it feel to be in your last performance in your high school career?

  • Assaf: I find it bittersweet because I started here recently [came to Abington High as a junior] and I’ve gotten to meet so many wonderful people that I’m gonna miss.
  • Genest: It’s definitely sad to see this come to an end. Bu most of all I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to perform at all this year, given the pandemic. And that I got to do what I love most again before I graduate high school.
  • Blanchard: I cannot believe how fast these four years went. I am so sad that my journey and participation as a member of the Drama Club is coming to an end. I will always want just one more performance as a student at the high school. I made many new connections with  my cast mates, and learned countless amount of things from amazing mentors like Tara Morrison,  Mr. Shannon and Katie Beckvold. I am so proud of the work I have done in this club and I am so thankful that I was able to have a space where I could leave all of my worries at the auditorium door. It is very bitter sweet to leave but I will carry all that the Drama Club has taught me along with me on my new journey.
  • Mentis: It is bittersweet to be in my last performance. I am happy that we have been able to come together and create a show during this pandemic but I am also sad that it is my last.
  • Odell: It’s super bittersweet. I’ll miss performing here with Mr. Shannon and all of my classmates so much.
  • Remillard: It’s such a bittersweet feeling. This cast and crew have so many memories together. I wish we had one more year to make some more. But I’m so excited to see how far everyone will go.

Do you have any plans to continue drama after high school?

  • Assaf: Yes I do. I am taking a gap year to take some extra classes and plan on applying to schools in NYC and Boston to focus on my theater career.
  • Genest: Yes. I’m hoping to major in theatre with a concentration in directing to hopefully become a director someday.
  • Blanchard:Drama will always be a part of my life. Whether I choose to involve my self in an aspect of theatre professionally or just as a hobby, theatre will always be part of who I am. I plan to take classes regarding vocal therapy in college to learn more about the voice and how singers use these muscles to perform. I am very excited to further study this along with animal science in college.
  • Mentis: I’m going to Emerson to study theater and performance after high school.
  • Odell: Yes. I’ll probably join my school’s drama club again if I can.
  • Remillard: Yes, drama was something I found in such a low point in my life and it really helped me find my way out of that. I want to continue doing something I love and that makes me the best me.
Pullquote Photo

I’ve known since elementary school that I wanted to be in Drama Club.”

— Kathryn Genest

How many years have you been in drama and why did you join?

  • Assaf: I have been in drama since I was 9 years. I joined because I saw my cousin in a show and it looked fun. Next thing I knew, I found my passion.
  • Genest: I’ve been a part of Drama club for all four years of high school. I’ve participated in every play and musical, and I’ve always been performing. I’ve known since elementary school that I wanted to be in Drama Club.
  • Blanchard: I have been in drama for all four years of high school. I was part of the crew freshman year and was part of the cast for the other three. I joined because I love performing. I always knew I wanted to join the drama program in high school and work with Mr. Shannon. I used to go to the high school shows when I was younger and I knew I wanted to experience it for myself too. As a freshman I especially wanted to be involved in some way because my sister was a senior at the time and I wanted to do something special with her.
  • Mentis: I have been in drama club for all four years and I started because I wanted a fun activity to do with my friends. And then I fell in love with performing in the process.
  • Odell: Ive been in drama for four years at AHS. I did drama in middle school too and loved it. So I joined as soon as I could in high school
  • Remillard: I’ve been in the Drama program for three years. What made me join was after some thinking and a nudging from Mr. Shannon, our director. I realized it would be a great outlet for me to express myself.

Jernegan: What have enjoyed the most about rehearsing for Working?

  • Assaf: I enjoyed how positive and supporting everyone in the cast was during the difficult [Covid-19] experience.
  • Genest: Drama club has always been such an important part of my life in high school. When that [last year’s production of Mamma Mia] and many other theater opportunities were taken away by the pandemic, I was devastated. So getting to do what I love most again and have fun with such an amazing cast again made me incredibly happy. I am so grateful and feeling very hopeful that theater will bounce back soon.
  • Blanchard: What I have enjoyed the most from participating in “Working” has been navigating through the complications of keeping the magic of theatre alive in the high school during a time where the usual production process is not safe. It has been so interesting to work with my cast mates and Mr. Shannon to record vocals, scenes and group numbers these past few weeks. It had been very wonderful to see the dedication of everyone in the cast to continue performing even in these troubling times. I believe it has made us better and more flexible performers and people. Seeing this show come together in a way I have never thought of before has been such a gift and I am so thankful.
  • Mentis: I have enjoyed getting to spend time with all of my cast mates and coming together to make something beautiful.
  • Odell: I really loved getting together for choreo [choreograph] rehearsals. it was always fun to see everyone having fun figuring out the dancing and improving!
  • Remillard:  I really loved being with the cast and crew and being able to spend the time we had together before we seniors leave.

Jernegan: As an actor, what has been a big challenge for you during Covid-19?

  • Assaf: Continuing to grow my skills, due to how little [drama] classes were available.
  • Genest: Theatre is just as much about the connections between the actors on stage and the experience the cast and crew creates for the audience, so there’s been quite a few challenges in creating that experience, including restrictions on rehearsing and having the mask as a physical barrier that blocks our expressions from reaching the audience. But I am proud of how we’ve overcome those challenges and I think we created something wonderful.
  • Blanchard: It has been challenging this year to accept that my senior musical will not be the traditional experience. I greatly miss the ability to perform a seamless show without the pause between takes and tons of editing to piece scenes together.
  • Mentis: Since theater is such a social activity, the biggest struggle has definitely been staying distanced.
  • Odell: the biggest challenge for me has been not being able to actively work with people the way I would in scenes. Like Mr. Shannon always says, acting is reacting. But it’s difficult to react authentically when you’re not working with someone in person.
  • Remillard: My biggest challenge during this pandemic was that I was unable to perform this show live. There is nothing like live theater. The adrenaline, the applause, the audience, these things we lacked this year.

The cast and crew have worked very hard to bring you “Working.” The show dates are April 29th and 30th and will be broadcast to any of your devices.

To purchase tickets/viewing packages, Visit SHOWTIX4U.COM and search “Abington” to order your ticket package and receive your streaming instructions.

The reporter for this story is also a member of the Drama Club and a part of this performance. Interviews were largely conducted via email due to the pandemic and social distancing safety.

 

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