LCDS Theater Presents A Historic Double Feature

“My thoughts were this,” Kristin Wolanin said. “We need theater this fall, and life in general has already been dark enough; I don’t want the theater to be dark too.”

Then, having thought those things, the director of Country Day theater turned her attention toward making them happen. Twice. In a format neither the cast, crew, or director had ever attempted before.

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LCDS Theater Presents A Historic Double Feature
Theater Poster
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“The kids came back thinking we’re not going to have a show and my reaction was, ‘What do you mean? It’s Wolanin. Of course we’re going to have a show,’” Wolanin said. “Also, I have an addiction. Not doing a show wasn’t a possibility for me.”

Of course, doing only one show was a possibility. Then Wolanin thought some more.

“I had this fantastic all-female cast and two plays that I loved that I knew could be chopped down into great one-act shows. So that’s what we’re doing, and it’s been extra double crazy!”

Everyone is invited to watch The LCDS Theatre Company keep the performing arts thriving in two groundbreaking productions, “Steel Magnolias” and “The House Of Bernarda Alba.” Showtimes for “Steel Magnolias” are 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 14, with the curtain rising on “The House Of Bernarda Alba” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 and Friday, Nov. 13.

The shows are free, but if you would like to support the Company with a donation, you can do so here, with sincere thanks from the cast and crew.

Instead of a live performance, each show is its own film of a staged reading, in full costume, as an ensemble. The filming consisted of two four-hour shoots that were then edited to move the players in their Zoom cubes around the screen to approximate the feeling of seeing actors move around the stage.

“It can be hard to picture,” Wolanin said, “but a good way to think about it is as a radio drama rather than a traditional play.”

Both shows have the advantage of taking place in one location, both center on the “awesome, juicy drama of all these women,” and both feature six members of the eight-actress cast playing strikingly different roles in each play.

“To play two characters basically at the same time who come from different countries and different cultures and speak completely differently than the other, that’s not easy to do,” Wolanin said. “I was really impressed with how much range and versatility they showed.”

To watch the shows, you first have to register by clicking the links below. Once registered, you will receive an email that will tell you how to join the audience.


“Steel Magnolias”

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 — Click here
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 — Click here

“The House of Bernarda Alba”

7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 — Click here
7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 — Click here

Cast:

“Steel Magnolias”

Truvy — Hannah Whisman
Annelle — Laurel Marx
Clairee — Sophie McDougall
Shelby — Mae Barr
M’Lynn — Amelia Lojewski
Ouiser — Frannie Thiry

“The House of Bernarda Alba”

Angustias — Mae Barr
Martirio — Amelia Lojewski
Magdelena — Laurel Marx
Amelia — Peachy Lee
Poncia — Frannie Thiry
Adela — Sophie McDougall
Bernarda — Hannah Whisman
Servant — Sarah Hilton

Crew:

Stage Manager — Sarah Hilton
Costumes — Riley Eckman*, Keira Alhadeff, and Anna Sponaugle
Props — Linnea Winterer*, Ruby Nemeroff, Kobe West, Lennon Krista, and Jayden Temple
Sound — Ben Kendall, Grace Foresman*, and Eli Hurtt
Publicity — Ben Kendall*, Olivia Neff, and Linnea Wright
* — Crew Chief

Orchestra Roundup & Ceramics Year-In-Review

Wright and Schaumann Earn Auditions for National Orchestra Festival

Violist Cecilia Wright ’21 and violinist Florence Schaumann ’22 both advanced from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Central Region Orchestra Festival to the All-State Festival. While this year’s All-State Festival was cancelled, the girls’ scores allow them to audition for next year’s National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Orchestra Festival and the National Orchestra Festival, two highly competitive orchestras consisting of the top players in the country.

 

Ceramics Year-In-Review

By Beky Weidner

Last fall a handful of students had the opportunity to have their pieces fired in a wood kiln at a studio in downtown Lancaster. In January, students created and donated 40 bowls to the Opportunity House in Reading for their Empty Bowls event, and finally a group of 30 students took a field trip to a ceramics exhibit at Landis Homes by Dennis Maust, where they had the opportunity to hear Dennis talk about his work and ask him questions.

The Whimsical Isolation of Delanie Edwards ’24

Earlier this month, Phil Lisi asked his students to write isolation-inspired poems. Delanie’s poem, “Isolation,” was particularly inspired, and has become part of an ongoing Arizona State chronicle of the pandemic: “A Journal Of The Plague Year: An Archive Of Covid19.”

Isolation
By Delanie Edwards

I’ve spent two weeks isolated
A major problem has been created
I used all of my hot sauce
This is such a loss
Food is a disgust
My mouth can’t adjust
Wait… I can order some online
The hot sauce will be all mine
I’ll order the largest size
In two day’s time it will be my greatest prize
It finally came
Now just to read the name
It’s chile-lime
This is such a crime
I must have ordered wrong
I just have to be strong
Until I can leave the house again
I don’t know when
Or until I can order correctly online
For now I’ll just have to dine
All alone in isolation
Without my hot sauce salvation

‘All Shook Up!’ — An Insider’s Review

By Christopher Matthews ’20

In June of 2019, Ms. Wolanin announced to the LCDS Theater Company that the winter musical would be “All Shook Up!” We were excited to perform whatever she could throw at us, but nobody had heard of this musical before. Little did we know, “All Shook Up!” would change all of our lives for the better.

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As auditions approached, our excitement was through the roof. We learned a grueling dance routine (which later became the dance break of “Jailhouse Rock!”) and had to memorize multiple songs, all in a few short days. The days before the cast list’s release are always some of the most stressful times in the company, and this show was no different. Tensions ran high until the 22 cast members accepted their roles with glee.

From the beginning, everyone in the company knew that “All Shook Up!” would be one of the biggest productions that the Steinman Theatre had ever seen, but after a few rehearsals, we truly realized the massive scale of the production.

Typically our shows take place on one set, but “All Shook Up!” requires many distinct locations that could not possibly be condensed into a single set. We needed to figure out how to use every single inch of space backstage to store different pieces of furniture while more than 20 actors scrambled to make their entrances on time.

The further we got in the process, the bigger the show seemed to become, but with a fighting spirit (and a lack of snow days), we charged into tech week.

It took us almost two full days to set up the lights, sound, and scene changes for the show, a process that normally takes only a few hours. While this was happening, the crew organized the backstage and the actors feverishly reviewed their lines and the musical numbers.

“All Shook Up!” features more than 25 different iconic Elvis songs, all of which have challenging harmonies and difficult high notes. Our vocal director, Mr. Woodbridge, masterfully taught the ensemble all of the music in less than two months while also teaching the principal characters their solos during office hours.

As opening night approached, our nerves were through the roof, following the same path our excitement had taken before auditions.

Because we didn’t have school on Friday, traditionally one of our busiest nights, many more students and faculty decided to come to the Thursday night production. The house was packed.

After our pre-show warmups, Ms. Wolanin delivered a heartwarming pep talk that reminded us to stay grounded and to have fun. The seniors looked to opening night with a bittersweet excitement. “All Shook Up!” was the swan song for many of the 17 seniors, so every single one of us wanted to give it 100 percent.

Opening night could not have gone better because of the tremendous amount of energy from the cast and audience. Thursday’s show led us into an extremely successful weekend of theater in which we sold out two of our four shows. As we struck the set on Sunday after everything was over, the exhaustion had begun to set in, but we could not have been more thrilled with the work we put in. We put on a grueling production, but we gained a whole new appreciation for one of the most iconic performers of all time in the process.