Dialogue on Dialogue: A Chat on the Ups and Downs of Latin Theatre

large_photo181286_2119491 Jake Schlossberg: Hi Margie! Margie Muller: Well, hello there, Jake. JS: How are you? MM: I’m currently very tired, but I still have so much homework to do. Ever happen to you? JS: Oh, absolutely. Any reason you’re so exhausted? MM: Two words. Four-hour rehearsal. JS: Same here. But it’s not a one time only thing, is it? No. Four-hour rehearsal all week and three hours every day for months before that. Being tired is no new thing to a Latin actor. MM: Not to mention the potential eight-hour days on the weekends. JS: This Saturday we have a rehearsal that is longer than the regular school day. Hardly a hobby at this point. MM: And this isn’t just a one-time thing. For some it can be three, four shows a year! JS: Five for me if you count Intermediate Acting, in which I spent my free time writing plays. MM: Needless to say, Latin theatre is a big commitment…at least comparable to that of a three-season athlete. JS: Absolutely. I don’t mind being in the shows, though. For me, time spent on stage is just as valuable as time spent in a classroom. I only wish I had more time to balance everything. MM: Of course! Rehearsal is usually the highlight of my day. That is, until it ends and I realize that there are three poems to translate from Latin, a quiz (and not to mention that test I should study for)…and of course we can’t forget eighty-page-long Psych chapters to read. But really, isn’t that just picking nits? JS: Not really. Latin students have the unique opportunity to pursue their passions and broaden their horizons daily. For a school that encourages its students to participate in extra-curriculars, it isn’t very accommodating to the 40+ students that are staying after school every day trying to memorize lyrics, lines, blocking, and choreography all at once. And don’t get me wrong, I love the theatre program and I love my classes. But, for a high school student, it’s a lot. MM: It is definitely overwhelming. And, when you’ve been applying to colleges and have to prepare for college auditions along the way, there ends up being no time to just unwind. I don’t think I’ll get to take a breath until May 1st. JS: I’m definitely not looking forward to all of that. Right now, I’m still deciding whether or not I want to go into theatre as a profession. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but still, it’s daunting. Besides being competitive as an industry, there’s the economic situation to take into account. I feel like Latin is a school that stresses success, success that manifests itself in a beautiful home and cars and other expensive commodities. Being a stage actor doesn’t open a lot of doors to that sort of fabulous existence. I’m not completely upset by the idea of not having 7 cars but, at the same time, it makes you look around and think, “Am I making the right choice here?” MM: There are a lot of downsides to the chance of the industry. However, I think that Latin does a great job of introducing many different activities and because of that, it has shaped my goals and wants in life from more than just financial comfort. Through my application process, I drew often from my experiences in Latin’s theatre department in order to gauge what I really wanted. In the end, it made sense. My basis in Latin theatre really let me be dedicated to something and understand the path that would make me happiest. JS: Exactly! Latin theatre does so much more for its students. Our theatre may not be huge, or have an orchestra pit, or large backstage space, but the theatre we create is something to be very, VERY proud of. The best moments of my life have taken place on the Wrigley stage, and I am so eternally grateful for that. MM: There are so many aspects to our theatre too. Sure, we act, sing, dance, and all that jazz. But we work on the tech, hanging lights and painting sets, we form bonds in the green room, and we share ‘break-a-legs’ and hugs backstage. It’s a blast everyday. It pains me to think I’m going to have to leave it soon. There’s no place like our theatre. JS: There really isn’t. Despite the stress, the tears, the sweat, we always create something beautiful. Every time. MM: Absolutely. The hard work always pays off…even when opening night you almost fall off of someone’s shoulders, or someone breaks a bowl onstage, or the curtain gets stuck in the stairs, or…I could go on all night. JS: That’s the magic of live theatre! MM: Yes! The thrill of live performance is that it’s never the same! You can see a show a thousand times and it will never, ever be like the last one. Augh…the theatre. JS: And people can experience that thrill when they see The Drowsy Chaperone when, Margie? MM: Next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday you can witness all the glamour and grit in our latest production. There are no boundaries with this one–tapping, monkeys, and song—oh my! I’m so happy we had this talk, but I better be off. JS: Sounds good, it was a nice chat! Thanks!]]>