'Selfie' and 'This is a Test' at Seymour High School
Nancy Sasso Janis
I have never felt more like myself than when I am on stage.” - Student Director Brittany Kelly
“Theater is an incredibly important program as it gives students a safe place and a place for expression and I am incredibly honored to have been a part of this program.” - Student Director Abigail Andrade
Seymour, CT - The students at Seymour High School presented two one act plays this weekend and both plays were completely student run. Brittany Kelly, a senior, directed ‘Selfie’ and Abby Andrade, a junior at SHS, directed the comedy ‘This is a Test.’ The students chose the two plays and were in charge of everything from the set and costumes to the tickets and programs. Student Tech Director was Ejona Gjata, a senior. Brandt Schneider is the drama advisor at the high school and he is assisted by Darlene Keeffe and Stephanie Shelinksky.
‘Selfie’ is a one act play by Bradley Hayward about a group of high school students in their senior year whose problems are mounting as they prepare for their future.The teenaged characters search for ways to stand out as they face bullies, divorcing parents, pressures, illness and their own self-judgement. The group documents their year by the seasons with selfies and learn much about themselves and life in general as they do. As one character says, “As I see it, “selfie” is two letters away from “selfish.”
Ms. Kelly directed her fellow students with an eye to pictures; there was great variety in the arrangements that made up the 35 minute play. She appeared in the cast as one of students under the pressure of senior year. Galianna Erazo, a senior, played a tough girl and Taylor Queen, a senior, was a girl with a desire to be very thin. Taiya Suprenovich, another senior, was a girl who loves rabbits and Evan Webb, a junior, played a young man in the middle of his parents split. Spencer Beddington, a senior, played a combative student in a leather jacket and bandages. MacKenzie Secombe, a senior, was the redhead suffering from social media fallout. Sophia Fioretti, a junior, was very strong in the role of the girl who falls ill.
‘This is a Test’ has a group of students taking a 60 minute high stakes test. The time passes quickly and one particular student has voices in his head that keep him from focusing on the test. The young man finally reaches the essay question and discovers that it is written in Chinese, a language that the class learned on the one day that he missed class. There were many laughs in this comedy with which every student can relate.
Ms. Andrade had a good eye for the comedy in this piece. Mike Starkey, a freshman, played the student having so much trouble completing the test and did well. Senior Gurman Singh played the teacher trying to proctor the test. Ejona Gjata, Aidan Loock, and Engelbert Andrade played the other students in the testing session, while Phil Fioretti, a freshman, was an athlete with special privileges.. Eliana Arroyo, Rachel Moon and Ariana Wheeler played the voices in the student’s head and Bella Torri, a junior, was the voice of the questions on the test. Senior Kaelyn Brezina played the lead’s mother.
The Seymour High School students did a fine job with everything involved with producing two plays. A faculty member reminded the audience to turn off cell phones so that we could enjoy live theatre the right way. The entire performance of the two unrelated one acts only lasted 75 minutes, including a ten minute intermission.
Pictured: the cast of both one acts, 'This is a Test' Photos courtesy of Brandt Schneider