By: Tessa Lake-Goldstein
Sophomore Scenes went out with a bang as our ensemble of sophomore actors worked tirelessly to perform their scene work on Monday December 19th, and Tuesday December 20th, 2022. As a part of the ensemble, I was relieved the long awaited process was over. The production was a quick display of the ensemble’s talent right before students closed off for a much needed winter break.
This project encompassed the entirety of the sophomore actors’ first semester, and the actors to come will go through the same process. It’s a part of the theater curriculum, and allows the ensemble to present their work in front of a live audience: their first experience with that at BSA. It’s an exciting experience, as many can attest, and showcases how talented our classes here at BSA really are.
It started in September, with each actor getting assigned to a different director: either theater teachers, Tony Tsendeas, Paul Reisman, or theater department head Becky Mossing. The actors were then cast by different directors in their various scenes, something that would challenge them while simultaneously utilizing their talents.
It was a much-anticipated process and one that left each actor biting their nails while they waited to hear their scene partner and what scene they would be tackling for the next three months. After the celebrations and relief ensued, everyone settled into their projects with an open mind and ambition to work.
We had a wide range of scenes, stemming from a three-person take on Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead to a two-person scene from the modernist play Waiting for Godot. The diversity in style made for a very engaging and contrasting performance that kept the audience involved in the complexity of each character and their future; in whatever ten-minute blurb of stage time they had.
During each acting period, students would work with their respective directors, analyzing the script for action words, verbs, and objectives before blocking their scenes. It took months. Each new day came with new discoveries and different ways to portray emotions and movement. It was an ever-changing process, and that’s not to say each scene has finished. As we learned in our classes, the work is never done, and everyone always has the opportunity to grow.
Regardless, by the time sophomore scenes rolled around the tenth grade ensemble was incredibly nervous, “I spent a lot of time on this scene, because it really is our whole first semester project. As freshmen, we saw the now junior ensemble working on their scenes, and I always thought, wow! I can’t wait to do that next year. Now that it’s really here, it feels kind of surreal, but I’m just excited for you all to see it,” says sophomore actor, Zoe London.
So, if you were fortunate enough to see this year’s performance of sophomore scenes, you saw firsthand how hard our actors worked and the results of a long and grueling three-month process. The work is never done here at BSA, and there’s certainly more to come in the acting department.
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