The Drama Club continues to play a large role at Gilmour Academy, and with the Performing Arts Center’s (PAC) construction underway, the community remains excited. Until the PAC is completed, the Drama Club will showcase their talents at the Gates Mills Community House. Their upcoming play, “Alice in Wonderland,” will be performed this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 6-8 at 8 p.m.
With a talented group spanning grades 9-12, the seniors are feeling bittersweet as this is their last fall play.
Sophia DiPuccio is starring as Alice. Considering her longterm commitment and experience over the years with the Drama Club, she sees this performance as her last chance to be in a play since the spring show is a musical. She said, “It hasn’t really hit me that this is the last play for me, but I want to give this performance my all.” DiPuccio also added how important it is for seniors to set an example for underclassmen and inspire them for their years to come.
Quinn L’Esperance (’19) is the Queen of Hearts. She said, “Gilmour plays have always been special to me. This will be my last play because after I graduate I will be focusing on my TV/Film acting career. It’s bittersweet. Drama Club has been such a big part of my Gilmour experience, especially this year as Co-President of the Drama Club with Sophia.”
L’Esperance shared that her main goal for this year is to ensure that the underclassmen have a great experience and appreciation for how important Drama Club can be since they will be “the leaders when the Performing Arts Center is completed.”
Gabe Gainar (’19) is the Cheshire Cat. He said that while it is his last fall play, he is already looking forward to the spring musical. Gainar notes, “Even though this is our last fall play, it’s not the last of all. I would say we’re excited for this play, and maybe the spring musical will be more bittersweet because it will be the last time this group will perform together. We’ll definitely miss working with Mrs. Janis.”
Sam Zou (’19) plays Humpty Dumpty and has been performing with the Drama Club since his sophomore year. About his last play performance, he said, “Mainly I’m happy. I’m not bittersweet because it’s a happy show and we have many new members on board. Even though this is my last fall play, we support each other. The seniors are energetic and excited about this show.”
Zou also said that he personally enjoyed creating new life through characters on stage. “In some ways,” he said, “it’s a sacred process. I have serious respect for the works we represent by writers like Shakespeare and Carroll. As actors, we are responsible for the life we create on stage.”
Using the Community House in Gates Mills presents opportunity and challenge. The cast expressed much appreciation for the use of the space. While everything looks good on the stage, there are an abundance of details that are done behind the scenes to ensure the show is not only enjoyable for the audience, but for those who are performing as well.
Allie Mikolanis (‘19), who is a part of the tech crew said, “Since we are the last step in putting the show together, it’s always amazing to see the show come to life.”
Some challenges overcome by this cast include creating their own props and sets, gaining admission to the stage for rehearsals, projecting their voices without being mic’d, and driving or taking a bus to the Community House.
The cast members and crew of “Alice in Wonderland” have been preparing intensely these past few months and cannot wait to perform. To attend this play, tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults. The play begins promptly at 8 p.m.
Sophia DiPuccio (‘19) has been in every play since she has come to Gilmour and her love for theater has grown with every performance. She said that the Drama Club has impacted and changed her life “so much,” and for that she is “extremely grateful.”
While sacrificing basketball games and practices, DiPuccio has fully embraced her role as Alice. Despite the enormous time commitment and difficult choice to miss basketball, DiPuccio said, “One of my favorite reasons for performing is that feeling you get at curtain call. Being Alice is making this entire journey so special and worth it. The cast and crew have put so much time and effort into this production and we are ecstatic to perform this weekend.”
L’Esperance added, “Alice in Wonderland is a well-known show that all ages can enjoy. We hope to see everyone there!”