Close-knit cast of “Titanic” bonds both on and off the boat
By Courtney Kennedy, Staff Reporter
The curtain rises and a set appears. But this is not the opera house that served as the background of last year’s “Phantom of the Opera”–instead, the deck of a ship appears. A ship, as the audience knows, doomed to sink due to an iceberg collision.
From Feb. 29-March 3, ‘Stoga Theatre performed “Titanic,” based on the 1912 sinking of the “unsinkable ship.” In this ensemble-based production, the cast used both each other and the audience to create a captivating experience for all involved.
“In our Friday night show, the audience saw the boat for the first time and started clapping, even though we hadn’t reached the end of the show,” freshman Zoe Colbert said. “It really energized and motivated us [to perform].”
The cast had been working since December to put on a flawless performance. What started as only a few rehearsals a week for the large ensemble quickly turned into a daily practice with lines, music, and spacing every day after school and on Saturdays on the weekends.
“We had a lot of Saturday rehearsals,” freshman Sarah Whelan said. “They were always nine to three, so we basically just lost our Saturdays, but it was fun because we had all of our friends there with us.”
The group grew very close over the two months of preparation, and was a critical component of the on-stage chemistry of the actors and actresses as well, according to Whelan, who noted that participating in the musical allowed her to form many new friendships.
“Being a freshman going in, you don’t know a lot of the people and you meet so many awesome friends,” Whelan said. “I can’t even begin to describe it. The group is so much closer then any other show I’ve ever been in or even any other thing I have ever been involved with in the past. It’s a family, and it’s hard to do that with over fifty people.”
This chemistry was evident to all once the production got on board. The show is now eligible for twenty-two awards from the Greater Philadelphia Cappies after being chosen by critics, including the award for best ensemble (third class passengers), song (Mr. Andrew’s Vision), orchestra, set and musical, as well as those for individual performances. Critics will then vote on these and other candidates to determine the five in each category that then become nominees for the awards.
“Titanic” has been chosen for the following possible nominations:
Sound: Ryan Zmiewski
Lighting: Ian Starner, Sergo Retif, Carly Meyer, Jack Guitman
Sets: Frank Gauthier, Aleign Dolph, Shanna Luedtke, Ian Starner
Make-up: ‘Stoga Titans
Stage Crew: Frank Gauthier, Arleigh Dolph, Shanna Ludke, Sam Winfield
Orchestra: ‘Stoga Pit Orchestra
Creativity: Andrew McKeough
Ensemble in a Musical: Third-class passengers
Featured Actress: Chrissy Bradley
Featured Actor: Alex Carre
Dancer: Kanishka Rao
Male Dancer: Dance Ensemble: “Latest Rag”
Female Vocalist: Julianna Quazi
Male Vocalist: Matt Fell
Comic Actress in a Musical: Emily Omrod
Comic Actor in a Musical: George Stern
Supporting Actress in a Musical: Nell Hoban
Supporting Actor in a Musical: Ben Sheppard
Lead Actress in a Musical: Laura McCauley
Lead Actor in a Musical: Stephen Christner
Song: “Mr. Andrew’s Vision”
Courtney Kennedy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.