Theater company prepares for Fall play

Theater has a change in direction


Duc Ngo, Staff writer

The Annandale Theater Company is preparing for this year’s fall play, For The Love of Three Oranges.

The play takes place in a fictional kingdom called The Kingdom of Cups. The plot is about a prince who has been cursed with the inability to laugh, despite the effort of the people in the kingdom to correct this issue. One day, however, his cursed gets lifted, only to be cursed again to fall in love with three oranges.

“It’s hilarious. There’s a cursed prince, a jester sidekick, there are princesses, there’s a really old king, a sorceress, an evil cousin of the prince, a wizard, and many more crazy things that will happen in this play,” theater teacher Katherine Brunberg said. 

Compared to more serious plays of previous years, such as Anonymous, this year’s performance will be a humorous Italian play that is categorized as a commedia dell’arte, a genre of early professional theater that all modern humor took inspiration from.

Another thing that will be different is that this year is that the play will not be directed by Brunberg. Instead, she will be taking the role of stage manager and will hand the director hat to close friend and Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts graduate, Cathryn Benson.

“She’s brilliant,” Brunberg said, “She translated the script from the Italian, making the script original, so it will be the first time this version will be performed. The kids will also have the opportunity to learn a whole new acting  style and apply it to an actual production.”

“I took the basic plot of the play and added a few more original stock characters,” Cathryn Benson said, “I wrote it specifically for Katie Brunberg’s students.”

Benson is excited to work with the students, she said. She wants to explore their strengths and weaknesses to find their characters, she said.  

“Because it’s a very silly fairy tale I want everyone to go into the extreme reaches of their imagination and really think out of the box,” Benson said.

When choosing the play theater would perform this year, Brunberg said she looked for something that was more lighthearted. 

“I think this is the first purely funny show we’ve done since I’ve been here,” she said.

Brunberg also made sure to choose something that would challenge everybody artistically. 

“We have these big and exaggerated characters,” she said, “I also wanted to make sure there was good opportunities for the technical design aspect, so there could be very creative make-up, creative costumes, creative sets. There are many props needed for this play, so there will be a lot of challenges for both the design areas and actors.”

Junior Hunter Duggan, who plays a part of the royal court and senior Alexander Chounramany, who is a stage manager, shared their excitement for the play.

“All theater excites me because I think all it’s exciting in general to perform,” Duggan said. “I always try to audition as much as possible. I think this performance excites me because we’re the first ever performance of it with a world premiere, so it’s kind of crazy.”

“I am the co-props designer. I am designing weapon props, so I get to make five weapons. Two of which are stabs and three of which are swords, and this play is very funny with many silly combat scenes,” Chounramay said. “If you didn’t already know this is a commedia dell’arte which is a very funny form of theater. It’s not much seen and has probably never been seen before in Annandale theater, so come watch.”

The cast for the play will include: junior Nia Collins as Truffaldino, senior Tarik Darwiesh as Prince Tartaglia, senior Jack Dalrymple as Leanrod, sophomore Jewel Coulter as Princess Clarice and  junior Mariam Sesay as Fata Morgana,as the primary characters.

Secondary characters will include: junior Han Le as Celio Mago, senior Makayla Collins as Princess Ninetta, junior Sarah Wheatley as Princess Concetta, sophomore Clara Billows as Princess Violetta, freshmen Jasson Rodriguez as Il Dottorre, sophomore Kenneth Anderson as Il Capitano, sophomores Kelly Martindale as Brighella, sophomore Amanda Weaver as Pantalone, sophomore Ana Clark as Smeraldina, sophomore Kayla Osipchak as Crefonta’s voice, senior Kadijah Janneh as Fararello, junior Hunter Duggan, junior Sirena Clemons and freshmen Tim Hurd as Zanni.

Last but not least: junior Alonzo Sanchez,  sophomore Ana Clark, sophomore Clara Billows, freshmen Gleny Chicas, freshmen Jasson Rodriguez, sophomore Kayla Osipchak, sophomore Kenneth Anderson, sophomore Rania Harid and junior Sarah Wheatley as part of the Royal Court.

“When casting the characters I was looking for anyone who was willing to be ridiculous,” Benson said, “I wanted people who would be willing to make a fool of themselves, people who wouldn’t be self conscious and would really go for it as far as the exaggeration in the character is concerned..”

With the confidence and excitement that Benson and Brunberg show for this play, it seems it will be unlike any other we’ve ever seen. 

The play will be held from Oct. 25 through 27. Anyone with any questions should talk to Brunberg in Room 324.