The Red & Black
Arts & Entertainment

Loving Lives: Behind the Scenes


It all started with the announcement over the loudspeaker. Curtain and Cue was putting on their production of Loving Lives! I’ve always wanted to be in the Fall play, but have never had enough time. Now, in my senior year, I thought it was the perfect opportunity. I decided I would at least audition, you know? What could be the harm

I prepared a minute long monologue that I wound up practicing in the mirror about a hundred times. The day came and I sat in a practice room praying I wouldn’t forget the funny parts. I tried to pick something that highlights my abilities and would get me the role I wanted, but to be completely honest, I was just hoping I’d get casted. 

I was sitting on pins and needles waiting for the callback and cast list email. When I found out I was cast as Rosie I immediately texted everyone in my family, all my friends, and pretty much did not shut up about it for three months. 

We started rehearsing as soon as the cast was set and the pressure immediately set in. The number of lines were more than I had ever needed to memorize, but it was a challenge that slowly developed into something I really enjoyed. We rehearsed every day learning blocking (the movement of a scene) and practiced getting comfortable with each other.

Historically, the show has only been performed eighty times so after scouring the Internet we discovered that filmed performances of this specific show were non-existent. This meant that I had to create my character and her mannerisms from an extensive process of trial and error. Some parts of her stuck throughout the process of reading, rehearsing, and tech, but she mostly came together during tech week. The entire show began to click during this time and we attempted to incorporate elements that will highlight the important parts of the show. For example, if I felt like a certain line was funny, but the audience potentially won't understand the context, then I would try to make the context more clear. It is truly always a process of working with the material and fellow actors to create something that is humorous and well-timed.

Tech week is when lights, sound, microphones, costumes, sets, and props all combine. It is stressful and extremely time consuming. We had five-hour rehearsals scheduled for four days in a row and then it was show time. The key to a successful tech week is being patient, understanding, getting enough rest, and doing your part. This show was especially technical when it came to lighting, sound, and other elements to the set due to the number of interactive props, such as the “sound booth” and snow machine. 

Then the time came. The hours of rehearsing, learning lines, painting the set, and everything in between is put towards three shows. I told myself, “Don't worry, have fun, and focus!” When it ended I was obviously sad, but that’s the familiar beauty of theater—there one moment, gone the next. 

Next up: the musical!

A Review of the Fall Play


This past week, the Winchester High School’s drama club put on Loving Lives. For those who missed the play, Loving Lives takes place in 1948 where a radio show struggles to stay in business. 

The play itself already held a great potential for a romantic and funny show, yet the actors and directors brought it to life. Directed by senior director Ian Albanese and junior director Abbie Gatto, the play was well-chose and incredibly directed. 

Though we missed Ian and Abbie’s talents on stage, they created a wonderful production that was definitely worth the watch. This production came to life with the talented actors and actresses. 

Starring Luke Maccunnuco as Mac Hooper, he took on a New York accent and did an outstanding job playing the part of middle-aged man trying to keep his radio show running. 

Elizabeth Sharon starred as well, as Bibsy Sullivan, embodying the role of a single mother who is determined to participate in the next airing in order to get some money.  The amount of praise I heard for these two actors after the show was enormous. 

To add some romance to the play, Jackie Fallon stars as Rosie Pearl who is angry at her boyfriend,

Jack Hopper, played by Simeon Nikov, who seems incapable of telling Rosie how he feels. These two contributed greatly to the drama and made the audience believe that they were actually in love. 

To further add to this romance, Dolly Pickelhaupt, as Abigail Shipley, plays a young love-sick assistant who obsesses over a narcissistic Walter Steed, portrayed by Ethan Johnson. Dolly played her character incredibly as Abigail develops a better sense of herself and a better taste in men.

Ethan not only perfected his self-obsessed character, but added another level of comedy. Abigail Shipley’s better taste in men moves towards John Clearly, played by Connor Pettingell, who can play an outstanding unconscious man as well as a thoughtful radio narrator. 

To add to the drama, Michael Ampe plays Abigail Shipley’s brother, nailing the annoying child star part so well that it made me want to take his kazoo away. 

The only two characters who did not have any conflicts were the owner of the radio station and just one of the actresses. Though you should want to dislike the owner for cancelling the show, Alessandro Cella makes his character likable and hilarious. 

Niha Ghosh masters the role an actress who already has several other acting gigs and seems to be there only for the food. 

Last, but certainly not least, Emma Southard and Maddie Heckler, take on the role of two flappers. They both play their parts fantastically adding some scandalous parts. 

The directors and the actors put on a phenomenal show, all of which could not have been done without Ms. Cella. Overall, the show was a great success!