Freshmen Perspective of The Play that Goes Wrong

The SHC Theatre Department wrapped up its final productions of the fall play, The Play That Goes Wrong, in November. With a talented cast and crew, amazing choreography, and a hilarious script, it’s unanimous that this was one of the best plays SHC has ever put on. The story follows a struggling theatre company’s opening night of a play, but everything goes wrong when a series of amusing mishaps forces the cast to improvise. The Emerald spoke to three of the frosh cast members about their experiences and perspectives on performing in their first high school play. Frankie Zogaric ‘26, Maya Bergman ‘26, and Gabi Cameron ‘26 all gave insight on what it was like to be new performers in an SHC production.

The Emerald: Have you done theater before, and if so, how has this experience compared to your previous productions?

FRANKIE: Yes, I have. Before, everyone was young and there was a lot less that we had to do to make sure that production was safe. This time everyone was super responsible, and the director didn’t treat us like we were children so it was really fun.

GABI: Yeah, I did. It’s definitely been a big change because there’s just more. There’s definitely a bigger budget, and it’s a bigger production!

MAYA: Yes I have! This experience has been different from former shows I’ve done because it has been organized and the community has been super supportive.

Was it intimidating being in the play with upperclassmen?

FRANKIE: At the beginning it was really intimidating, but then it became really fun and everyone was super welcoming.There wasn’t any drama or anything like that.

GABI: I think at first it was, but once I got to know them, I became friends with them.

MAYA: At first, I was pretty intimidated by the upperclassmen but as I got to know the cast more, they were all super nice and supportive.

What inspired you to audition for The Play That Goes Wrong?

FRANKIE: I’ve loved theatre ever since I was little, and my sister was in a lot of the plays and musicals when she was at SHC, and my brother was in one too.

GABI: I saw SHC’s 1984 and Matilda when I was applying last year, and that was really inspiring.

MAYA: I’ve always loved theatre and I had heard some great things about the program so I decided that I wanted to audition and see what would happen. I’m really glad I did because I made some great friends in the process. 

Is there anything you want to add that’s specific to the freshman experience of the play?

GABI: I think it’s just important to put yourself out there and don’t be afraid of the upperclassmen. They’re really nice and really fun.

MAYA: Getting to know the traditions and different warm-ups is a little challenging at first but once you learn it it’s a lot of fun!

What advice would you give to an aspiring performer?

FRANKIE: I think even though you may be in a different character, still be loud, be yourself, and make sure that you’re honest with everyone. If something happens, be honest with your director. If you have a conflict that’s really important, you should tell them because it’ll just make everyone feel better, because if you cancel on them last minute it’s gonna be a giant rush.

How did the show go from your perspective?

FRANKIE: I thought they were hilarious and everyone performed amazingly. It was really fun. A lot of people in the audience really liked it too. Some stuff did go a little bit wrong during rehearsals, but everyone’s okay. We learned from our mistakes and then the show was perfect!

GABI: It was pretty nerve-wracking at the beginning, but overall I became more comfortable with it and like it was fun at the end.

MAYA: I was pretty prepared considering that I didn’t have to do that much but I was a little scared for my fellow castmates during the final scene because a lot was going on. I’m glad everyone was safe in the end though. Mr. Morris and a bunch of the upperclassmen were very helpful when giving out acting notes.

Was there anything that surprised you about the experience?

FRANKIE: Yeah, everyone was really close, which was a little intimidating at first, but then everyone was super welcoming and now I’m really close with a lot of them. And we did bonding activities, like when we went to Mel’s Diner before our first show. I still remember the first tech week rehearsal when we had to sign in – I didn’t know what the sign in board was and all of the seniors helped me and my friends to get to know everything.

GABI: The traditions were definitely new, but they were really fun to be a part of. We have a tradition where someone who’s done a really good job and was a really good team player is picked in the last show, and it’s really fun.

What would you say to someone who is considering joining a VPA?

FRANKIE: I would say that it’s a really good idea because it gets you to expand your horizons, and it can help create really good friendships and get to know people from other grades.

GABI: I’d say to do it. It’s really fun!. You meet a lot of new people, you meet a lot of friends, and it’s just a great experience.

MAYA: I would suggest that they go for it because being in a VPA has been a lot of fun, but be aware that you have to wake up earlier!

Though the play at first seemed very intimidating to the newcomers involved, the cast and crew were very welcoming and the play proved to be a very positive and engaging experience for the students to put themselves out there. Make sure to see the spring musical, Sister Act, and all other VPA programs this year!