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Centurion Spotlight

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Centurion Spotlight

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Centurion Spotlight

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Murder in the Centurion Theatre

Theatre students set the stage for their fall production of Clue.
photo by Rehansa Kulatilleke
Chaos erupts once the maid–Yvette (Natalie Uy) gets murdered on stage.
Yvette (Natalie Uy) moments before the masked figure murdered her. (photo by Rehansa Kulatilleke)

On November 30th and December 1st, 7 PM Cypress Theatre presented their first production of the year with an adaptation of the movie/board game Clue. Cypress students and guests gathered in the Centurion Theatre where they then watched the enthralling performances by Theatre students. The backstage crew from Ms. Stewart’s Stagecraft class along with help from Mr. Geerdes’ AP student, Michelle Yu

The performance opened with the protagonist–Mr. Wadsworth played by senior Andy Nguyen followed by sophomore Natalie Uy who played the maid Yvette. During the first act, the two would introduce the main set of characters as they made their way on stage. Colonel Mustard played by Leo Aispuro would make the first introduction, followed by Miss White played by Natalya Carvell, then Mrs. Peacock played by Arina Matiesu, Mr. Green played by Dorian Carrillo Ferrer, and finally last but not least– Professor Plum and Miss Scarlet both played by Ettore D’Agostini and Noelle Lee. Once everyone was settled in, Mr. Wadsworth revealed an important piece of information that caused everyone to go quiet–inside a locked suitcase were incriminating documents that held blackmail against every one of the guests. Once word got out, so did the murder–bodies piling up by the minute–causing audience members to be enthralled at the edge of their seats. Actors ran back and forth across the stage enacting their parts while responding with comical remarks. With the slight parallels to the classic movie, it was clear to see that the performance was a hit in the theatre. 

The main characters on stage amid chaos. (photo by Rehansa Kulatilleke)

Although the show was successful–some last-minute changes affected a fragment of the performance. Two days before opening night, one of the main actors unfortunately became unavailable at the last minute, causing an array of events to unfold. Senior, Emily Martin was unable to perform for both nights, leaving her understudy–Arina Matiesu to play the role of Mrs. Peacock. With the limited amount of time left until show day, some might have been given the idea that memorizing lines last minute would have been hard–when in reality Matiesu believes otherwise. Matiesu said, “At the very beginning of the year when everyone got their roles, they all recorded themselves going through the script…so memorizing the lines wasn’t a big deal.” Despite the fact that she memorized most of her lines, others decided that it would be best to keep a script on stage in case she might be required to have quick glance. Director–Senior, Emily Alexander shared, “We made Mrs. Peacock–her script–covered it and made it look like a Bible–since she’s sort of a religious character.” Although the script was on stage, it was hardly noticeable since Matiesu hardly glanced at it during the performance. However, this was not the end of the turmoil of events–with Matiesu now set for one of the main roles, her original role as Newscaster to be passed to the understudy Finn Cooper which led to another understudy taking up a role. 

Senior–Andy Nguyen had to practice a British accent for his part. (photo by Rehansa Kulatilleke)

In addition to the last-minute changes, more rehearsals were planned. Actors would be asked to attend one-and-a-half-hour rehearsals every Wednesday and Friday commencing to show week. Along with the help of rehearsals after school, actors would also schedule time and call each other outside of school to work on lines and work on particular scenes that needed work. On top of the rehearsals that actors had to undergo, some students went a step further to strive for realism by using method acting. Senior–Andy Nguyen claimed, “I would mainly just talk in a British accent because–you know I needed to get into that British accent. I would just talk to my friends in a Britsh accent–they hated it, it was annoying–but all I did was just practice that.” Another actor, Leo Aispuro who played Colonel Mustard shared his experience and how he used Quizlet to help him memorize his lines. Aispuro shared, “I need to know when to say my lines and know what my lines are. So I would put the other person’s lines on the front of the flashcard on Quizlet and my line behind it–that way I know who was speaking before me.”

Theatre and Stagecraft teacher–Ms. Stewart gaving a thank you speech at the end of the show. (photo by Rehansa Kulatilleke)

Every Cypress High School show includes an amazing backstage crew to help behind the scenes. Both actors and crew members were tasked to follow a certain schedule that kept everything organized. Theatre and Stagecraft teacher–Ms. Stewart said, “So what we do is work in what’s called a production cycle. So when you figure out how many weeks you have to produce your play, then you lay out what needs to get done each week in order to be on time.” Students were tasked with creating some of the main props that would play an essential role in helping with the show. This included the assignment of creating a burger made out of paper mache for one of the dinner scenes in the show. Students were also responsible for lights, sound,  and costumes.

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About the Contributor
Rehansa Kulatilleke
Rehansa Kulatilleke, Distribution Chief
 Hi! My name is Rehansa and I am a junior here at Cypress! This is my first year in journalism and I can't wait to finally be a part of it! I joined journalism because I love writing and would love to write more in the future. Some fun facts about me are that I love Marvel, reading, and listening to music. Some of my favorite artists are Arctic Monkeys, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles!
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