The theater department is a big part of Friends Academy. But for someone like me, who has never participated in a production, it can be hard to imagine what happens behind the scenes. What are practices like? How much work do the actors put in? Is it fun? These are just three questions I have personally had about Friends Academy plays. Luckily, freshman Dylan Sklar has agreed to give us his own opinions and experiences to help paint a picture of how amazing a theater production is.
Jack: Hi Dylan, would you mind giving us a quick overview of the experience of being part of the play?
Dylan: The experience of the show was very fun. It was a good, tight knit community, and it was very fun being in the production. And even though some rehearsals lasted forever, (well not really), they all lasted the same time; time flew when you were working there and working on the dance numbers or singing. It was just a really fun experience and I am glad it was my first show for high school.
Jack: What motivated you to be part of the production this past fall?
Dylan: Really, I’ve just been doing shows since I was in fourth grade, so I kinda was like, “Ok, I might as well do it. I did last year's show, this one's going to be fun too.”
Jack: Did you have any expectations that first day of theater pre-season? If you did, what were they?
Dylan: I was really hyped for it. I was like, “Can't wait for this,” because pre-season was a new thing. I think they just implemented it this year. And I feel like it was a really cool thing because everyone has their sports pre-seasons, so why not have a theater one too?
Jack: As a freshman starting high school, like you said, it was the first play you had done in high school. How do you think being a part of it impacted your first few months?
Dylan: It really just eased the tensions of the first few months. When I first came to the high school, I was really stressed out about the school and everything, but once I started doing the play, it kind of got me back into things, and I felt normal and calm.
Jack: Did you make any new friends or meet any new people while participating in The Imaginary Invalid?
Dylan: Yeah, I met a lot of people. All the new freshmen I got to know better. I got to know some seniors, juniors, sophomores… It was a great experience.
Jack: Fast forward through all the rehearsals, all the hours you spent preparing and making the set. It's show night and you are about to go on stage. What is running through your head?
Dylan: Just a lot of adrenaline, and I can't wait to go on and have some fun. That’s pretty much what every show is I guess: just a big adrenaline rush before you go on stage. You can just do anything no matter what part you are, from ensemble to the lead. It's just a big adrenaline rush. It gets you on stage and makes you power through it.
Jack: Do you feel the same way when you are on stage, or can that be a little intimidating sometimes?
Dylan: No, I feel the same way on stage. It’s just, the adrenaline takes over everything else, and it becomes all natural.
Jack: If you had to say something to a person who wanted to try out for the play but was too scared to be on stage, or wasn't sure if they could balance their homework with all the practices, what would you say to them to show how fun and how great it is to actually be part of the play?
Dylan: I would really say talking in front of people isn't that bad, and if it were a freshman, they're not getting a speaking role anyway. Don't worry, you're probably just going to dance and maybe sing a little bit. But you get out of there by 5:30 and it's fine cause you have the rest of the day to do homework, so it's kind like doing a regular sport instead. You get out of school at 5:30 and you can just do your homework at home. It's such a close community and you just have to overcome that fear of stagefright.
Jack: After all the showings were over and all the practices had ended, how did you feel? What kind of lessons do you think you've learned during the play?
Dylan: I felt so much better and I realized that the high school plays were going to be another whole step up from the middle school. It's going to be a whole new experience, and it's going to be fun. It’s going to be hard, but fun.
Jack: If you had to summarize your whole experience of doing 'The Imaginary Invalid' in one word, what would it be?
Dylan: An adventure. Well, adventure, I guess.