By Dorian Harmatiy.
Contemplate for a moment what would happen if you boiled together hours after hours of practice, an energetic crew, effusively enthusiastic teens, and of course, an outstanding drama department. You would get a spring musical put on by the NRHS Drama Club, Zombie Prom. This show follows a character that jumps into a nuclear reactor, resulting in a story of forbidden (and radioactive) romance. As it is played out on stage, this drama is sure to enthrall all viewers, as they get whisked along into the world of rebel Jonny and the love of his life, Toffee.
An audience viewing a well-produced musical still might not be able to appreciate the intensity and commitment required from the cast and crew. Aside from what viewers will see on stage, there is a tremendous effort put forth behind the scenes for a successful show. The talented cast spends quite a bit of time polishing its piece, until they are finally ready to present it to the public on March 7th through the 9th.
The story line of Zombie Prom centers around a high school student, Jonny. He is rebellious. Popular. And most of all, completely new to his school, Enrico Fermi High School. During a duck-and-cover drill, he meets a girl, Toffee. They fall deeply in love, dating for several months; unfortunately, it is not a relationship built to last. Due to her strict parents and an overprotective principle, Toffee is forced to break up with Jonny. Out of desperation, Jonny throws himself into the local nuclear reactor. However, it seems that naught will stop Jonny, as he returns later as a zombie, in time for the senior prom, asking out Toffee again, in the hopes that she will go with him. And truly, the plot unfolds from there.
Freshman Noah Venesile stars in Zombie Prom as the protagonist, Jonny. He said, “Jonny is a very special kind of kid, a cool, different type of guy. He’s a kid who is very different from the rest of the kids in the play. He always wears a leather jacket and is always trying to display his uniqueness. One of the big ways he proves his individuality is by spelling his name “Jonny” without the customary ‘h.’” In other words, Jonny is very unique. Just like everybody else.
One of the biggest components of preparing for this play, however, is obviously the time commitment. Noah said they “usually spend about three hours usually, from 2:30 to 5:30, for active rehearsals and vocal rehearsals.” However, that doesn’t take into account the extra choreography practices that they have. Noah stated that “on days that we have choreography practice, we have two more hours of practice, from 5:30 to 7:30.” Noah also mentioned that the toughest part of preparing for the play was definitely scheduling, and all the myriad of jobs that need to be done to prepare for the play. “We have to put in the time and the work most days of the week. We have to meet up to do the lines, to practice vocal (the songs); we have to put the set together, for which we have a great crew. We have to do costumes, makeup, and then of course paint, to paint Jonny green.” As a whole, the time commitment is tremendous, but our plays would not be the same without it.
But what exactly is the allure of theatre? Why is it so widely appreciated from both ends of the production, the senders and the receivers? Thankfully, Noah was able to provide some insight into the benefits and positives of theatrical experiences: “My favorite part of preparing for the play is really just finding each and every character. I love getting to know each and every character’s personality, knowing what they’re like in the universe they live in. I really love acting, giving it my all. Also the kids in the play are really awesome, really great people. I hang out with them all the time now! It’s really awesome to be part of this great production.”
Outside of theatre and school, Noah noted that he is deeply involved in music, in many different ways. Over the years, he has taken piano lessons, voice lessons, and is currently in two acapella groups at North Royalton High. He has also participated in solo and ensemble and show choir. “I am having a lot of fun fitting everything in and growing myself musically. Other than that, I really like socializing, getting to meet new people, and making new friends.”
While the cast and crew are working hard and having fun preparing for the Spring 2019 Musical, it is time to get tickets for the performances, which will take place in school on March 6th, and the general performances are from March 7th through 9th, at 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are available at the Activities Office. Let us know what your experience was at the play!