Staging senior spring

Seniors+Nebai+Hernandez-Carmona+and+Lydia+Currie+perform+a+scene+from+Jeeves+in+Bloom.%0ACourtesy+of+Miss+Danielle+Gennaro+%2705

Seniors Nebai Hernandez-Carmona and Lydia Currie perform a scene from Jeeves in Bloom. Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro '05

[envira-gallery id=”51635″]
Seniors Tess Driscoll, Lydia Currie, Nebai Hernandez-Carmona, Izzy Sio, Eva Carrasquero, and Victoria Becker are collaborating to co-direct Convent of the Sacred Heart’s second annual student directed play, Jeeves in Bloom.  Seniors Gracie Smith and Bettina Pugliese are also collaborating as part of the tech crew of the play.  This production will premiere Friday May 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lennie and John de Csepel Theater.
The seniors had a hard time choosing a play that would both appeal to students and fit their small cast, but they eventually settled on Margaret Raether’s Jeeves in Bloom.

From left to right, seniors Nebai Hernandez-Carmona and Tess Driscoll perform a scene from Jeeves in Bloom. Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro '05
From left to right, seniors Nebai Hernandez-Carmona and Tess Driscoll perform a scene from Jeeves in Bloom.
Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro ’05

“We definitely wanted a comedy show, but other than that we did not have any guidelines as we looked up scripts. I cannot even tell you the number of shows I watched while trying to find a comedy that people our age would find hilarious while also being appropriate,” Tess said. “ It took us a long time to find Jeeves in Bloom, and I am so glad we did. Ms. Gorman was the one who actually suggested the show. After watching it on Youtube, I thought it was perfect – one set, small cast, and absolutely hilarious.”
Margaret Raether adapted Jeeves in Bloom into a play from one of P.G. Wodehouse’s various novels and short stories following the escapades of Bertie Wooster, a wealthy, but not particularly bright young Englishman, and his clever valet Jeeves.
In this particular lark, Bertie tries to set up his friend, Gussie Fink-Nottle, with Madeline Basset, the woman he loves, but is too shy to speak to. This all takes place at the home of Dahlia Travers, Bertie’s aunt. In the midst of Gussie’s romantic entanglements, Dahlia concocts a scheme involving her jewels, a phony robbery, and Bertie himself to procure some much needed cash. Bertie turns the whole affair upside down and suddenly finds himself fending off both the romantic advances of Madeline and the antics of the crazy chef Anatole. It is up to wiley Jeeves to save the day.
From left to right, seniors Eva Carrasquero, Victoria Becker, and Tess Driscoll perform a scene from Jeeves in Bloom. Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro '05
From left to right, seniors Eva Carrasquero, Victoria Becker, and Tess Driscoll perform a scene from Jeeves in Bloom.
Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro ’05

The senior tradition of directing a play resurfaced last year when Gabby Giacomo, Grace Kennedy, Miranda Falk, and Tess Driscoll staged and acted in The 39 Steps.
“Tess and I started out by asking Gabby for some information about how to start off. The 39 Steps cast really set up a perfect example for us. They have inspired us and also have given us the confidence to complete a show in only six weeks,” Victoria said.  “We really look up to those three girls from last year and appreciated how close they became through the production. All the girls in Jeeves in Bloom have performed together for years, and wanted to create a similar bond in this last show together.
The seniors agree that the play is mostly a collaborative effort.
“I would say when it comes to critiquing and blocking, we all have input. We are free to give advice, come up with ideas, etc. However, in terms of logistics like getting show rights, putting the playbills together, and overall doing the technical parts of putting on a show, Tess Driscoll and Victoria Becker have taken that responsibility,” Lydia Currie said.
While directing is an enriching learning experience, Tess agrees that it also has its challenges.
“The hardest part is not being able to see what you are doing. All the critiques come from each other. The blocking and character development all came from our own opinions and ideas so it can be hard to separate ourselves and look at everything objectively,” Tess said.
All of the students involved in the play have had previous acting experience both inside and outside of Sacred Heart, but co-directing this play has allowed them to experience different elements of show business.
“It’s been an amazing experience directing this ourselves, because we get to see the other side to producing a show. We all have been cast and stage crew at some point, so this is a completely different experience,” Victoria said. “I never realized how much time and care is put into each scene that no one really recognizes. I definitely understand a lot more of the finer details that go into making a show.”
– Elizabeth Bachmann, Co-Features Editor