Gregory students performed the world premiere of “The Superhero Ultraferno” on October 23 and 24 at the school’s Nickerson Performing Arts Center. Twenty school thespians participated in the action-packed fall play.
Waiting to find out what the annual fall play would be this year, the school eagerly awaited the announcement from play director and drama teacher Lisa Bodden at an all-school meeting in mid-September. “Superhero Ultraferno” was written by Don Zolidis and the Gregory show was its first ever.
With a staggering 90 or more roles to fill, Bodden encouraged the student body to audition for the play. The production of the play went smoothly, according to junior actor Devin Johnson. Practices went well and the set came together in a timely manner.
But some students had a challenge: juggling simultaneous volleyball practices and rehearsals for the play. Johnson and other volleyball players, including freshman Nina Armstrong and sophomore Caroline Zlaket, faced a scheduling conflict.
Volleyball practices cut through play rehersal, so student athletes had to find a way to balance both. “It was difficult to memorize lines while simultaneously playing volleyball,” freshman Nina Armstrong said, “but in the end it all paid off and the play was executed flawlessly.”
The play was well-executed. Bodden put an enormous amount of time into planning and directing the play, and the actors themselves demonstrated impressive dedication to not just one role, but to many roles.
Every actor in the production played a number of roles. Senior Daniel Rosenberg said this arrangement actually worked well. “Having more than one role was good for everyone, because it really helped the actors shine, whereas in some plays the focus purely remains on two characters,” Rosenberg said.
The audience’s attention was captured during the play as they watched a series of superheroes transform into other superheroes. Even with so many characters, the play revealed detailed personalities for most of the characters.
Set details were not overlooked either. In addition to the actors, the technical staff made “Ultraferno” possible. Leaders in Bodden’s Stagecraft class made the visual and audio effects for instance, Senior Brian Liu even composed the “Superhero Ultraferno” theme song, adding an element of individuality and uniqueness to the show.
The set was also completely mobile, adding another challenge to the production of the play. Senior and assistant stage manager Skylar Decker said, “It’s always hard to move the larger set pieces into place without creating too much noise and disrupting the play,” but movable stage pieces became a perfect solution.
The stage crew silently transformed the set as the play progressed. Decker said, “Communication could have been hard due to the noise made by the pieces, but moving the props was the easiest part of the night” thanks to the help of the staff.
The night was a success with a truly comical, and captivating play. Being a spoof on the dozens of superhero movies that came out this decade, the students of the Gregory School depicted one to four superheros.
The first act portrayed all of the DC superheros, then transitioned to Marvel superheros in the second act.
The play concluded with a hilarious, yet thoughtful “German Soap-opera” rendition of spiderman. Once again, Bodden, the actors, and the crew pulled off another truly successful fall play.
SUGGESTED FOR YOU...