Advanced Actors Take Wrigley Theatre By Storm

Emily Bernhardt Acting, as most of us choose to think of it, is the art of playing a character and pretending to be someone that you’re not. However, this year’s group of Advanced Acting students are challenging this norm. They’re “not just acting” (see Ella’s previous Forum article), they’re playing a brave, honest version of themselves. This twist surprised students and teachers alike and introduced them to a new style of acting, never before seen in the Wrigley Theatre: Neo-Futurism. Eddy Lee, a junior and member of the Advanced Acting class, considers Neo-Futurism  “the idea surrounding every play, we are who we are. Nobody pretends anything is anything else.” The creator of Neo-Futurism himself, Greg Allan, assisted in teaching the Advanced Acting class throughout the semester. Inspired, the advanced actors took this acting style and made it their own by bringing their personal stories and experiences to the class. Together, the Advanced Actors wrote and rehearsed thirty-seven separate plays, which were each performed in a random order on the nights of the show. Michelle Perez, a senior member of the Advanced Acting class, believes that these plays, each conveying different themes, messages, characters, and ideas, were what “set the tone of how different this show was compared to all the other Latin plays.” Her favorite part of the class was “getting everything together and finally being able to perform all the pieces for everyone to see.” Abigail Garber, another Senior advanced actor, is on the same page as Perez. She also thought it was important that some scenes caused the audience to roar with laughter, while others moved them to tears. For Garber, many of the plays were not only “serious”, but also completely truthful, which made them “emotionally tolling” to perform and write. However, she says that “everyone in the cast was so supportive and were able to pick each other up when we were down.” Though they practiced for nearly an entire semester, the Advanced Acting students could not prepare for every possible situation that their unpredictable show could create. This left room for many small, technical difficulties. However, the natural stage presence and improvisational skills of the students allowed the show to flow smoothly without any major hiccups. Though each actor revealed personal truths about themselves that were often uncomfortable, they remained calm and collected throughout the performance. The creative risks that the actors took was what made their show so well-received by audience members. Noor Kamal, a sophomore who has seen many Latin plays, liked this show in particular because it was “very random” and “chance played a big factor, so nobody knew what to expect.” Kamal thought that it was different from anything she had seen before at Latin and appreciated “that it was super interactive with the audience.” While the Advanced Acting company showcased their work, students, teachers, and parents played bingo, were given cupcakes, and, at some points, even got on stage themselves. The show continually “broke the third wall” and reminded its audience that the show needed them. In fact, Eddy Lee states that “without a doubt” the most rewarding part of the show was “performing our pieces and watching the audience cry and laugh together with us. Hearing the audience’s thunderous applause is a moment I’ll never forget.”]]>