Group interpretation and contest play prepare for performances


  ‘Tis the season to get into Group Interpretation. With a new “8-bit Christmas” gaming system out in 1988, a group of kids comes together to sell wreaths around the neighborhood in order to get the gaming system of the year. 

  The narrator role is filled by senior Israel Grande and the ensemble consists of seniors Anna Hutchison, Emma Stroup, Kaidence Stroup, sophomores Ashton Strange, Brinley Francis, Kyle Hutchison, Owen Gaffey, Rileigh Wren, and freshmen Avery Moran and Gavin Fischer. 

  Come along with the cast as you go on a journey to the western parts of Chicago in the late 1980’s, a humorous and heartfelt lookback of childhood adventure. This story is centered around a ten-year-old boy Jake, played by Grande, who is ecstatic to get the new console Nintendo made that was so amazing it was deemed not a video game, but an 8-bit gaming system. 

  The cast is largely filled with people who have not experienced something like GI before, like Given Fischer says that “GI is unlike other theater activities, it almost ensures that the entire cast “becomes one.”  But there are also returning performers like K. Stroup and Hutchison who were a part of the performance of “CODA” last year, and made it to state. 

  Senior Kaidence Stroup states, “GI is a lot about being in-sync with each other. Experience is very helpful because of the fact that I know what is to come.” To be a newcomer in a GI performance can be stressful.

  Even with there being a lot of new people this year, the cast is prepared for whatever it is that comes.

  While GI has its own tasks they are working on, Contest Play is working with the play “Small Mouth Noises.” 

 Contest play can help people who may not be too comfortable to have a big role in a musical or play just yet, like sophomore Christina Moore who states that Contest Play will “help me understand characters and really connect with them and also help me feel more comfortable speaking and acting in front of people.” Like Group Interpretation, Contest play helps people evolve into better actors.

  Hutchison plays a teacher at a nature preserve. The comedy has five people on this trip, all of whom can’t help but to make noise on this adventure. With this rule in place, the cast members struggle to keep themselves quiet, this causes them to break a lot of the rules.

 Junior Michelle Henderson and Wren play a lovely couple named Joan and Judy, who are just trying to enjoy themselves and get away from the city when they run into Alicia, who is played by sophomore Christina Moore, a very loud obnoxious food eater, causing little to know peace on the retreat. 

  Along the way the couple also run into Ned, played by junior Francisco Pease, who is also obnoxious and loud, and Jan, played by freshman Jacob Marruffo. Jan is a foreigner who doesn’t really understand what is happening. Jan is really just here for the journey, with his story having it’s own twist with it, along with many other of the cast members who have to try to not focus so much on the past. 

  With both groups competing in IHSA this year, both groups will be practicing after the musical, for about three weeks before their first competition. Each cast member and director are prepared to start the difficult journey and climb their way up to the top.