By Ava Basso ’24 & Emily Gray ’24
Important Dates and Information:
As You Like It: November 18 & 19 @ 7PM in the LCA Cross Center
Broadway Follies: October 29 @ 7PM in the LCA Cross Center
Upcoming Productions: Godspell (winter; upper school musical), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (spring; upper school play)
Building a Production: “As You Like It”
The 2022-23 LCA Theatre season has kicked off with the middle school production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The show will be held on November 18th and 19th at 7PM in the Cross Center.
About the text, Christopher Greco, the director, says “It is a very funny play. I love the irony. I love the insults.” He remarks that the show feels representative of the middle school experience as a whole with “the combination of the wrestling and all the drama around crushes.” If you have seen any LCA productions in the past, Mr. Greco has compared As You Like It to the likes of Two Gentlemen and The Tempest in the sense that it is a “cutting that seeks to tell the main story of the play.” In addition, this show is the first elaborate production since COVID. Cole Owen ‘23 remarked, “it feels like before COVID era. We got into COVID and everything felt like it was half-done, but now it feels more complete. It’s great to see the whole process happening again.”
The process is not only up and running again, but it is now more elaborate. Unlike past shows, the production crew is very student led between “advanced tech theatre, tech theatre, the painting crew, and costume crew,” says Mr. Greco. One of the tech theatre students, Grace Low ‘24, says the tech class is working on lots of “ideation” at the moment and are facing many “logistical issues” such as “[they] want to put sheep, but [they] cannot put real sheep, so [they] are trying to make fake sheep.”
Others are working tirelessly to make As You Like It the best that it can be as well. Sophia Zhang ‘26, is one of the painters working on the set which is going to consist of pillars and periaktoi, which are triangular structures that “create the illusion that we’re in a new scene without using a lot of props,” Sophia describes. Some of the scenes on the periaktoi include the court and the Forest of Arden, which may include some 3D trees made of pool noodles.
In addition to the tech crew, there are multiple student directors assisting Mr. Greco with the production of As You Like It. They help out with many tasks including acting and musical coaching, blocking, character work, and cohesiveness. Mylah Viana ‘28 remarks that working with the student directors “makes it fun and makes [her] look forward to it.”
The production itself features a variety of students from different grades portraying a multitude of talents. The youngest actor in the play, Samuel Hurley ‘29, described his experience working with the other actors as “a bit of a challenge… because other people will probably memorize their lines before [him]…and know more about theatre,” but it is a great opportunity to meet new people from other grades and to learn more about theatre and yourself. Emmett Doreau ‘28 comments that he “barely knew Mylah, [his castmate], before [he] started, and now [he] feels like [he] knows her more.” He also remarks, “My past experiences with theatre had been very scary, but then I tried it [at LCA] and it was very fun.” Mylah adds, “It’s almost like a mini family by the end.”
One of the musicians/actors involved in the show, Issa Esperance ‘28, has described her experience with the show as “a little bit weird at first” since she did not initially expect to be cast as a musician, but “it was surprising to start to hear [the songs] come together.” Seeing as the songs in As You Like It are just lyrics, Issa got to compose her own music for one of them. Issa stated that she was initially “very nervous” to have others listen to the song since she had never shared something like that before, but now the whole cast has heard it, and it is definitely a fan favorite with its up-beat tune.
The musicians/actors and the other actors have had a very different rehearsal experience, so we asked one of the strictly actors, Lily Ng ‘27, to share what her personal experience has been like so far. Lily explained that the rehearsal process has been “pretty busy” since “[she’s] been called everyday so far.” She described how, “the earlier parts of rehearsals were mostly working on memorizing and getting to know your character, but now [they’re] working on effects and staging and positioning” as opening night approaches.
As they prepare for opening night, the cast and production crew look forward to communicating the story with our audience. Please come out and support! The actors, themselves, believe that YOU should come to the play because of the humor. Mylah Viana remarks, “The humor is going to be very fun to watch and I would watch it if I wasn’t in it.” Typically, there is an attitude towards Shakespeare that it is old, outdated, and impossible to understand. People might be against watching it if they feel this way. However, this show is not like that at all. It is a “surprisingly funny play,” and students will “get most of it” (Greco). Mylah states that the show is “easy to follow because of the humor, even if you don’t understand the words.” Furthermore, the show’s story is one that we can learn from. Mr. Greco states, “The maturity around the romance… I think it is impressive and could probably help some of the high schoolers.” In addition, many of your friends will be performing in the show and they would love your support!
Mark your calendars for November 18/19th! We hope to see you there! Emmett Doreau says that if friends do not come out, they would be considered “fake.” Don’t be fake, guys. Come see the show!