Arts

Open Expressions: The Theater Department – To Be…

You may or may not have noticed that this week, we are no longer Living Arts. We decided to rename ourselves, in the true spirit of the section, Entertainment. We will still continue to offer arts-related pieces, but will also cover happenings on campus and general-interest pieces. In the spirit of our name change, we are starting a four-week point-counterpoint series on the merits of Theatre, Dance, Music, and Visual Arts at Andover. Let us know what you think about our new image or our point-counterpoint. Email any comments or questions to phillipian@andover.edu —————————- Where can you find a football PG, a musician, a freshman day student, and a Chem 580 tutor hanging out on Friday night? Just show up at the Theater Classroom at 6:45 and you’ll find out. Each week, a Drama Lab production goes up and includes a group of people who ordinarily might not ever meet. Incorporating many new faces and talent, the department fosters Andover students’ eagerness to participate in theater. Lucas McMahon ’08, one of the three Theater Producers, explains his immediate attraction to the Theater Department. “No other high school that I had ever heard of let its students take such an active and important role in the production of shows. The very notion of working alongside a talented faculty to complete over 35 productions of all sizes in one year seemed almost too perfect to be a reality.” The Theater Department is one of the largest departments on Andover’s campus. It is constantly working to recruit students with little or no acting experience to try out for the constant influx of productions. From the large Theater 520 productions to the smaller student-directed Drama Labs, the theater department strives to include everyone, even those who have never acted or directed before. Mary Doyle ’08, an active participant in the theater department, said, “The department doesn’t at all favor people that have already been in shows or people that already have experience. For instance, when Mr. Efinger is casting the Theater 520 production, he’s not going to just cast seniors, he’s going to cast whoever is best qualified. Also, the Drama Lab auditions are really laid-back. It’s a great jumping off point and a sample taste of the school’s Theater Department.” The typical Drama Lab is made up of at least one or two members who are newcomers to Andover’s Theater Department. The department prides itself on the diversity within each play and its students’ large role in the execution of the various theatrical productions. “While there are definitely certain people who are more involved than others, it’s really easy to get involved in a Drama Lab. It’s always interesting to see who ends up getting to work together in a theater production,” said Sally Poole, ’08, who is currently involved in the Drama Lab “The Patronage.” The Theater Department proudly exhibits a wide variety of talent, a group of talented and qualified faculty, and a diverse selection of performances. Anyone interested in getting involved in one of the most accommodating departments on campus should contact either Mr. Efinger or one of the three enthusiastic Producers. McMahon continues, “No special requirements are needed to be part of this department – just an interest in getting involved and the courage to ask a Producer or a faculty member to help you hop on board one of the best kept secrets on the Phillips Academy campus. The attitude in the Theatre Department, corny as it may sound, has always been the more the merrier as I strive now as a Producer to get as many kids involved in acting, directing, design, and tech as possible.”