The cast of the upcoming play meet to read through the script.

Drama teacher uncertain about play after five strong actors graduate

Jacqueline Chao
Drama teacher Brian Frishman meets with the cast of the upcoming play to read through the script.

Drama teacher Brian Frishman just doesn’t know what to expect. He’s never had more new actors and actresses (except in 2004, his first year of teaching drama at SCDS.)

“There’s just so many new faces,” Frishman said. “There’s three (returning actors), and there’s six or seven new kids.”

Returning junior Brandy Riziki is uncertain, too.

“I don’t know how the freshmen work, but I hope that we all work well together like we did last year,” Riziki said.

She said that some of the freshmen don’t lack acting experience entirely, as they have performed in middle school and other schools’ plays.

Riziki added that she is excited about the large number of freshman actors since it softens the loss of last year’s five seniors. The cast has also lost junior actors and actresses due to extracurriculars and increasing academic pressure.

Because so many of his strong actors left and so many freshmen wanted to participate, Frishman said he decided to allow everybody in his elective to act in the winter play.

Frishman’s plays sometimes have a shorter cast list that requires qualifying auditions, but this year’s five one-act plays have enough roles for a few adults to join in, including assistant head of school Tucker Foehl.

The one-acts are titled “Antique Show,” “The Whole Shebang,” “Parental Consent,” “Monologue Madness” and “The Best Mommy.”

Splitting up the play into one-acts also accommodates the actors’ and actresses’ schedules. Due to extracurricular activities and living far from school, it’s difficult for many of the students to rehearse at night, according to Frishman. So there are fewer night rehearsals than usual.

Instead, he rehearses one short play at a time during or after school or on the weekends. This type of scheduling works with only one-acts, Frishman said, and people will need to make the night rehearsals next semester.

One-act plays may have some additional benefits.

Sophomore Aaron Graves said that the shorter plays will be easier for the new actors to memorize, but freshman Kenyatta Dumisani disagrees.

Dumisani, who also participated in Frishman’s middle school productions, said that performing in a one-act play means memorizing several pages more than he is used to. Larger plays are less work, Dumisani said, and are better “because then I can get that one part that’s like ‘Pow!’ and then that’s the smash hit and everybody loves it.”

Choosing roles was easy, according to Frishman, as there was no conflict about who wanted which part. Freshman Hana Lee said that she was definitely happy with her role as a male teacher and that the scenes are hilarious.

While four of the plays are comedies, one is fairly serious, Frishman said.

“There’s not a common theme like last year,” Riziki said, “but I feel like (the plays) all work together well.”

Lee and freshman Brian Chow said that some of the plays are “risqué,” which Chow likes.

It’s high school,” Chow said, “and some people aren’t really exposed to that.”

The plays will be performed on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 7-8.

The actors said they are looking forward to performing.

“Oh, heck, yeah!” Riziki exclaimed. “I’m so excited!”

—By Larkin Barnard-Bahn

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