Essay, Research Paper: Canevin Theater


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Canevin Catholic High School offers many extra curricular activities. Those
students geared toward the physical challenges may choose from various athletic
programs such as, basketball, soccer, and football. On the other hand, there are
additional activities for those more interested in a mental challenge. These
students may join such organizations anywhere from FBLA to Forensics. However,
of all the extra curricular activities offered by Canevin, none excites me more
than Dramatics. This paper takes a look at my last three years involvement in
the annual musical productions here at Canevin. Traditionally, Canevin's
dramatics has been a full-scale musical production performed in the spring.
Students may audition for chorus, acting or dancing parts or they may join one
of the many stage crews. During freshman year, I tried out for the musical
"Working." "Working" depicted different careers through
dialogue, song and dance. To my surprise, I made callbacks. When the cast list
was posted, the role of Anthony Polazzo, the Mason, was awarded to me. After
weeks of hard work and rehearsals, it was finally opening night. From that time
on, I realized Dramatics was for me. The following year, the start-up meeting
could not arrive fast enough for me. The play selected for my sophomore year was
"Damn Yankees." The musical's main character was Joe Hardy. Joe wanted
so drastically to play baseball for the Washington Senators, that he was willing
to sell his soul to the devil. When the cast list was posted this time, I was
assigned to play the role of Mr. Welch. As owner of the Washington Senator's, I
was expected to portray a prestigious and confident businessman who enjoyed his
cigars. In one short year, I went from a mason in overalls, to a baseball team
owner decked out in a suit and tie. That's show business! "Into the
Woods" was selected as the musical for the following year. The story line
included various adaptations of traditional fairy tales. Well, if mason to owner
wasn't extreme enough, what would you say about Cinderella's father? Junior year
found me playing the character of an older man who marries for the second time,
to a woman with two nagging daughters. In a house of four women, no wonder he
resorted to drinking. Directed to use a silver flask as a prop and a fair amount
of improvisation of libations, I portrayed the character of Cinderella's father
as a drunk. When the final curtain came down closing night on "Into the
Woods," there was, however, one more performance still to come. This year
Canevin had been nominated for 6 Gene Kelly Awards, including Best Musical in
Budget Level 2. The Gene Kelly Awards sponsored by Pittsburgh's Civic Light
Opera recognizes students for excellence in High School musical theater. On the
night of the awards, those schools nominated for Best Show perform on the
Benedum stage a selection from their production. Extra rehearsals were
scheduled, and a final practice with the Benedum orchestra was needed. I am
proud to announce that Canevin was awarded the Gene Kelly for Best Costume
Design and Best Musical in our division. Additionally, each year two students
are asked to represent their school in a final production number. This
prestigious honor is always given to two seniors. Unfortunately, this year, two
of the practices fell during graduation activities. Since 5 rehearsals are
mandatory, our director, Treva Rueso made her selections from the junior cast
members. A fellow junior and I were ecstatic to be chosen to join members from
all the participating schools in the final production number, "Keep Your
Eyes on the Goal." The plethora of ecstatic people applauding at the close
of the Gene Kelly's was phenomenal. It was indeed an honor to represent Canevin
in this collaboration of students exercising their many talents. I have
experienced many gratifying moments in my years at Canevin, but few have been as
electrifying as sharing with fellow cast and crew members their ability,
courage, and commitment in creating the annual school musical. The Dramatic
program continues to surprise its supporters with innovative musical theater.
Through my experience in putting on a musical, I have learned what it means to
work as a team. The camaraderie was intense and rewarding. I look forward to
this year's production of "My Fair Lady," and to once again contribute
and experience the magic of the stage.
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