By Samantha Melanson
Photos by Kellie Petrosian
Geek! High School Edition written by Crystal Skillman follows the courageous journey of teenage girls, cosplay fighting, dreams, and bravery. Yearning for her idol to watch her precious videos, Danya, played by Montana Wood, arrives at an anime cosplay convention in hopes of finding peace after her best friend’s tragic death. Needing a helpful sidekick, Danya brings the admiring Honey, portrayed by Brooke Semelsberger, with her. Caught off guard by his smooth words and confident attitude, Danya tries to flirt with the popular Toby, played by Alex Davies-Morris. Gwen, portrayed by Fiona Meehan, will go to great lengths to exact chaos on Danya’s goal of meeting her idol. Filled with sword fighting, spunky rap groups, and sentimental moments, this play is one that all must see.
Since August, the Tesoro High School Theatre Department dedicated countless hours to practicing fight choreography, constructing the set, making props, picking sound cues, learning dance choreography, sewing costumes, designing hair and makeup looks, and staging and lighting the play. Building the different parts of a moving set from scratch, students use power tools to build flats, platforms, and stairs. Although she encounters some challenges, set designer, Brenna Alexander, works hard to transport the audience to a spunky, fun anime cosplay convention. Brenna Alexander finds herself most excited for the audience to see the set because “The bright lights and bright paint colors fill the stage with color. ” To engage the audience in the show, the lighting designers use strong, radiant colors. Embellished
and fun, the props are designed to stand out from the stage. From pink cherry blossoms lining branches to rainbow fighting sticks to gleaming crystals, the props help add to the childlike component of the show. Making creative costumes, Faith Moore, Kellie Petrosian, Kendall Wood, and Samantha Lapp paint red-hot flames and twinkling stars on costumes. Sound designer, Andrew Green, composes electric music and uses exciting sound cues such as the ticking of a clock and a new Tweet alert. Fiona Meehan and Gracie Williams, hair and makeup designers, “…enjoy braiding intricate warrior braids into the pink and purple wigs.” Overall, the cast and crew overcame obstacles and put forth hard work and effort to make this production a success.
Although there are numerous difficult rehearsals in the process, the students appreciate the other students in the cast and crew. Sarah Selznick enjoys the time she spends “…bonding with her fellow cast members whom [she] does not know.” The director, Cheryl Des Palmes, strives to maintain a positive atmosphere where students can learn and grow, while navigating the difficulties in producing a play. Stage manager Carly Sherman believes that she has grown tremendously during this process and learned how to “…mark a script, call cues, and run a rehearsal.” Students learn and rehearse blocking three to four times every week. Furthermore, certain students in fights attend long fight rehearsals. Additionally, students must memorize all of his or her lines in the show by a strict deadline. Nick Werfelmann is grateful to work on Tesoro Theatre productions because “…[him] and [his] fellow cast members feel proud of the end product made through hard work.” After learning how to properly fight, Caitlyn Wilt exclaims “I am confident in my quick movements with my stick raised high.” Completing all the tasks that go into producing a show, the students learn the importance of collaboration.
Tesoro’s production of Geek! High School Edition runs November 13th through November 16th. Tickets are available at https://search.seatyourself.biz/tesorohighschool/ or at the door. Hilarious and compelling, this show is one that everyone must see.