Director Brian Frishman is used to making choices when adapting his plays. It may be taking out scenes or adding dialogue,
But in the play “LOVE/SICK” Frishman had to change only one major thing.
“There’s some making out that had to get reduced drastically,” he said.
Nevertheless, in the opening scene, sophomore Luca Procida and senior Maryjane Garcia still have a lot of kissing.
“Kissing Maryjane is really awkward,” Procida said. “But after so much rehearsal you kind of get used to it.
“We’re friends, so we’re pretty comfortable around each other.”
But Garcia said she still feels a bit awkward.
“I’m almost 18, so I feel like I’m kissing a minor,” Garcia said. “It’s not cool. We started practicing the kiss a week ago and have kissed more than we probably should.”
However, senior Daniel Hernried said that the trickiest scene in the play is the opening one performed by Procida and Garcia.
“It’s really hard because both of the characters in that scene are saying the exact same thing at the exact same time the entire time,” Hernried said.
“They have to be perfectly synchronized.”
And Garcia agrees.
“It took me and Luca a while to get synchronized in our scene,” Garcia said. “I speak at my own speed, and he matches it.”
For the past two months, the 11 sophomores and seniors in “LOVE/SICK” have been hard at work preparing for their two performances on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 17-18.
Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.
The play, written by John Cariani, is a collection of nine 10-minute skits with two actors in each. Because it has a scripted cast of 18, seven of the 11 actors play two different characters.
Though none of the scenes have the same characters and there is no overlapping plot, there is a continuous theme of both love and pain, Frishman said.
Unlike Cariani’s “Almost Maine” (performed three years ago by the high school), this darker comedic romance shows the imperfections of relationships.
Hernried who has performed in school plays since middle school, said he is really enjoying being part of this one.
“I play two different roles,” Hernried said. “One of the characters (is named) Ben. Basically I’ve been dating this guy Andy for a month and want to move forward with the relationship.
“The other character (is named) Kevin. Kevin’s scene is more dramatic. If you’re married, you’ll really understand it. It’s a great role.”
Hernried said he’s been having more fun with these characters because none have accents, making it a lot easier for character development.
And he said that the two-person scenes make rehearsal easier.
“That’s what’s so great about these multiple scenes; we don’t all have to be there,” Hernried said.
“I don’t think that we’ve ever gone over the set rehearsal time. The place that we are at right now is really impressive.”
Frishman shares Hernried’s positive analysis about how the play is going.
“It’s going really well,” Frishman said, “partially because it’s a fairly easy play as far as memorization (goes) because it’s all two-person scenes.
“They’re all 90 to 100 percent off book.” (In other words, the actors don’t need the script because they know all their lines.)
In addition, the set is very minimal. For example, there is a door on wheels that is used in three different scenes.
But sophomore Brandy Riziki said she finds the play’s lack of stage directions difficult.
Riziki is playing two different characters, a married woman in a lesbian couple and a divorced woman.
“The script doesn’t give you a lot of detail about what to do when you are performing,” Riziki said. “You have to read through the script to fully understand the emotion.”
Rizki, who also participates in Frishman’s Poetry Out Loud class, said this challenge is different.
“Performing poetry is more about using your emotion and showing it with your face,” Riziki said. “(But) with the play you actually have to move your body.”
Though the rehearsals have been running smoothly, not everyone has always been there.
“We have had a lot of absences because of PSAT-related stuff, volleyball games and other things,” Frishman said.
“Fortunately, it was an easy play so that didn’t factor in as much.”
—By Jackson Margolis