Theatre department showcases talent in annual radio show

For the last few years, the theatre department has performed a twist on a classic Christmas play by performing it as a radio show in the blue auditorium. This year’s theatre performance was “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, the story of a young girl named Virginia who is bullied for believing in Santa Claus and decides to write a letter to the local newspaper about it.

Sophomore theatre student Ben Prejean, who portrayed host Frankie Wells, recognizes the difficulties of voice acting as opposed to traditional acting.

“There’s no movement for a radio show,” Ben said. “When you have movement you can really express things with your body, eyes, and mouth, but in a radio show it just has to be your voice. You have to show everything with your voice.”

Voice acting isn’t the only unorthodox part of the show. As a live show, the actors had to come up with new and inventive ways to produce the sound effects, says senior Alexis Acosta.

“It was neat just watching them try to find certain things to use,” Alexis said. “For the car we used a tuba mouthpiece which we had to get from the band. I just think it was really cool overall.”

As fun as the radio show was for viewers and participants alike, it wasn’t without its struggles.

“Every day we’d stay after school and work on our voices and try to figure out how our accents should be and work with the microphones and projection,” Ben said. “It’s very nerve-wracking because you’re just standing there and there’s no movement to go along with it and you have to remember what to do based on the lines. The most difficult part was definitely trying to remember when you have to go up because you have to remember a few lines before and get prepared.”

Fellow performer and senior Alexis Acosta shares a similar sentiment about the difficulty of the show.

“It was definitely hard to stay in character when another actor, Caleb, was acting like a little kid,” Alexis said. “He’s a big tall guy, and he had to do this high pitched voice so it was definitely difficult having to stay in character when he was being really funny.”

The dedication and hard work of theatre members paid off during the performances as audience members were engaged and impressed by their storytelling.

“We loved Virginia, her father, and the young boy,” English teacher Melanie Lasater said. “Alexis’ performance as Virginia was on point. Her theatrics with her emotions were very impressive. The actor who played the father had a few other roles, and his uncanny ability to capture the different dialects from one character to the next was performed flawlessly. The actor who played Virginia’s whiny, oblivious, young friend had us laughing in our seats. All of the actors did a phenomenal job.”

Fellow English teacher Cynthia Dominguez has a similar opinion on the show’s quality.

“I was taken aback by the sound effects,” Dominguez said. “The students who impressed me most with their performance were Ben Prejean and Cicero Allen.  I had so many students past and present in the production. I thought everyone did so well.”

Timing is important for any production, but in a radio show it becomes even more vital to the overall enjoyment of the audience.

“The audience laughed at the funny parts,” Ben said. “Everyone liked it and said they felt touched by it, and that really makes everyone who took part in the production feel really good. It was a really fun experience, and I would say anyone should audition if they want to be a part of it next year.”