“The Frogs” isn’t the typical high school play. Written by Aristophanes in the common era, “The Frogs” is a classical play that the Thespians have taken their own spin on.
A CCHS Thespians original scene was added to the beginning of the show to help gear it more towards their high school audience. The scene features characters such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Bill Clinton auditioning for roles in the original text of “The Frogs.”
“We [altered] the script slightly to incorporate the references,” Thespians Treasurer Gabriela Phillips said. “The overall premise of the show remained the same, they just added in a few scenes such as the audition process.”
Thespians spoke on the connections they hope the audience will make between the figures they studied in history class and the actors’ portrayal of them on stage. Phillips shared her experience with figuring out how to portray her own character, Xanthius, on stage.
“My goal by the end of high school is to get nominated or possibly win a Cappie.”
“It’s super fun to get into character and play around with different emotions, as well as to work on your connections with different cast members,” Phillips said.
The show also incorporates a variety of props that are brought in and created by the students of the prop team. Thespians 11th Grade Representative and “The Frogs” Head of Props Olivia Vera is responsible for prop inventory and construction.
“We have simple props like bags, binders and clipboards that we brought in,” Vera said. “I also had to make a stretcher and a bathtub and I’m really excited to see how those look on stage.”
Maximum execution is important as the Friday night performance is being reviewed by the South Florida Cappies Critics. The Cappies program is a group of theater and journalism students that reviews high school theater and has often been described as the high school version of the Tony Awards. Select reviews of the show will be published online.
“It’s definitely a little nerve-wracking because the pressure is on.”
Similarly to the Tony Awards, students in reviewed South Florida shows have the ability to be nominated for a Cappie. Phillips’s role as Xanthius falls under the lead category and has the potential to be nominated for an award. Being a Cappie Critic herself, ensuring the show goes well, in order to get a nomination, is important to Phillips.
“It would mean a lot to me if I was nominated because all the hard work that I have put in during rehearsals would have really paid off,” Phillips said. “My goal by the end of high school is to get nominated or possibly win a Cappie because it is a prestigious award and it is difficult to win so I want to have worked hard enough to be able to achieve that.”
The critics break the show down into categories and examine the creativity and difficulty levels incorporated. Of those includes the choreography, which is done by students. Thespians 10th Grade Representative and Choreographer Donna Nesselroth began choreographing for CCHS productions with last year’s musical “Into the Woods” and, since then, she feels she has adopted the role of choreographer.
“It’s definitely a little nerve-wracking because the pressure is on,” Nesselroth said. “But since this is a play as opposed to a musical, choreography doesn’t dominate the entire show so it is slightly less stressful but still exciting.”
Disclaimer: Alexandra Sansone is a Cappies Critic.
Photo by Carly Cuoco