The Puppet Boy is in a Play!

Members+of+the+Pinocchio+show

Natalie Poole

Members of the Pinocchio show

Lauren Snyder, Sentry Staff Reporter

A year after West Side Story, the spring show is here again to give us the story of Pinocchio. An interpretation of the famous novel, the play depicts the story of a refugee group who escape to the mountains. However, a storm hits and they have to take refuge in an abandoned puppet theater. There they meet an elderly puppeteer who tells the refugee children the story of Pinocchio, a wooden boy who wishes to become real.

Working hard to make the play a reality, the cast has been staying long after school for rehearsals. The weeklong cancellation in January put the cast on a time crunch with rehearsals running to 8:00 P.M. and the cast even rehearsing on Saturday.   

“Everyone here is really dedicated and … work through the tough periods and when we get to the end, everyone is really happy with how it’s put together,” said senior Garret Neal.

Neal plays the elderly puppeteer who also serves as a narrator for the show. He is in Theatre IV and has been in the past two spring shows. He explains that in the beginning of the process, the cast splits up into groups and read different scenes from the script. They then act out how they imagine the scene going.

At the same time the cast workshops and figures out which parts work best with different people. Typically, the scene-reading and the workshopping goes on for a week or so until roles are finalized and scenes are put together. The cast then works to tighten the screws and to make sure that the final product is polished.

“As being new to theatre, I think that it’s a very solid process. I like the way it works, you have to think creatively on what you’re going to do,” said freshman Kevin Cabral.

It’s the process that theatre has been using for years, but this year the experience is a little different. The cast for Pinocchio is the smallest cast in years for the spring show. There are approximately 25 to 30 people in the cast. This is almost the same amount of people working as theatre technicians for the show.

“This is completely unheard of; usually we’re understaffed. So this year is completely weird,” said senior Xavier Shakespeare, one of the senior theatre technicians.

Besides the new story and unusual amount of cast members, Pinocchio is also opening up a completely new world for the technical aspect of theatre as well. This year they are introducing projections into the performance, a new aspect that has never been done before for the spring show. All of this adds up to a performance that is more than a simple children’s story.  

“We have a lot of scenes and elements in our show that are geared towards the younger audience. But we are also hoping that we can appeal to an older audience as well,” said Neal.