The Curtain Rises for Theater Students


Felicity Shelton

Students performed “Chemical Imbalance” this year for in-class plays. From left to right is: Freshmans Lindsay Dove, Gray Harris and Lauren Crawford.

Anjali Sundaram, Reporter

CPHS’s award winning UIL plays and acclaimed musicals are not the only productions taking the stage this year as students in theatre classes are putting on an in-cass show giving them a practical experience into what it takes to be in theater.

“Our in class productions are little shows each individual theatre class puts on in the black box which we put on for a number of reasons,” sophomore Zoe Parkinson. “They [the teachers] allow us to basically take control over the entire process of putting on a show including direction, castings and arranging the tech. It gives us a really good perspective on all the elements that have to go into a production.”

Some classes this year are doing the play “Chemical Imbalance,”  a comical, yet dark play adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Students will take on all sorts of tasks, and sophomore Carymn Lamontage takes on the role of Calliope Throckmorton Share, the “good twin” in the play.

“My role was a ton of fun to play because I got to be mischievous and child-like,” Lamontagne said. “I liked diving into how I think a nine year old would react to her given circumstances. I most definitely feel a connection to my character. I feel that I shared many things with her in the sense that we both have older sisters and probably react similarly to obstacles. Calliope was really fiery and sassy which is an aspect I had a lot of fun bringing out of me and once I did, I think I connected to her even more.”

However, despite the fun it was to play Calliope, Lamontagne did have some difficult moments creating the character.

“The hardest part about my role was probably the physicality in the show I had to do stage combat with another actor and get bit by someone else, and that was pretty hard to work out to make it look believable,” Lamontagne said.

Parkinson had the opportunity to help direct the play despite only joining theater halfway through the year.

“I transferred into Productions III at semester so I didn’t have a role in their show: “Chemical imbalance” but I helped direct a few scenes, and I will also be playing Muchnik in Musical theatres production of “Little Shop of Horrors” in April,” Parkinson said. “I assisted my friend Greg in directing for the last three rehearsals before the show. It was my first experience with directing, and it was for a small amount of time, but I would love to direct future high school plays.”

The people and the welcoming vibe is why freshman Devin Cannon is in theater.

“I am in theatre because I love the people there and we’re like a big family, and it’s great being challenged and pushed to my limits and helps be me become a better actor,” Cannon said.

Acting is a very emotional and vulnerable place to be, Parkinson both understands the hardships that comes with acting, but appreciates the family bonds that come with it.

“I was told recently at a masterclass that a good way to do it is by placing yourself in the circumstances of the character,” Parkinson said. “It can also get a little emotional when you’re being directed and you’re having trouble executing a line the way you’re supposed to but it’s important for us to be able to separate our emotions in rehearsal with the emotions we have outside, and it it’s also really important that we can have a laugh outside of rehearsal but in rehearsal we need to be as professional as we can.”