Theater program thrills in “Maskerade”


Jeannine Chiang

Mrs. Plinge, played by senior Kalla Kamenov (Left), and Nanny Ogg, played by senior Ayden West (Right), smile jovially as they hold their “Maskerade” scripts during one of the first rehearsals.

Ruby Rosenquist, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the opening night of “Maskerade,” Cindy Skelton and her drama students kicked off the spooky season with a bang.

Students and their families gathered in the auditorium, gripping their playbooks tightly with their eyes fixed on the stage. As the curtains rose and Skelton handed her responsibilities over to the cast and crew, the audience inched to the edges of their seats. 

Over the course of the next two hours, a tangled web of drama unfolded: Agnes Nitt, a young lady who dreams of pursuing a career in singing, auditions at the Ankh-Morpork Opera House only to be selected as a member of the chorus. Sophomore Clo Papadogonas embodied this role with emotion and enthusiasm, convincing the audience to immediately cheer them on. 

There, she meets Christine, a popular but less talented girl with close connections to the owner. Senior Josie Fontana, perfectly casted for the part of Christine, took on the role of the snobby yet hilarious drama queen. Christine constantly requests that she be given leading roles, but due to her frail voice, Agnes is always given the parts. The catch is that Agnes is merely singing in the background while Christine acts as the face of the character, revealing a major motif throughout the play: people often feel the need to change their appearance in order to please those around them. 

Upon Agnes’ arrival, random murders start to occur. Many speculate that a ghost is to blame. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, two neighborhood witches played by seniors Sawyer Fair and Calla Kamenov, enter the picture in an attempt to uncover the murderer and convince Agnes to join their coven. Fair did an exceptional job of demanding the audience’s attention, embodying the creepy and wise Granny Weatherwax. On the other hand, Kamenov’s performance as Nanny Ogg was both sweet and relatable. 

With help from Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and the singers, dancers and stagehands from the opera, Agnes unmasks Walter Plinge, the janitor, as the ghost. But Walter seems harmless, and the others are unconvinced. Junior Santiago Tarango completely transformed the stage as Walter by amusing and confusing the audience. It is finally revealed that Walter was being psychologically manipulated and framed for the murders by the unhinged director of music Mr. Salzella, played by sophomore Lucas Keeley. Mr. Salzella committed the murders to distract from the opera’s financial losses.

The elaborate costumes and intricate props brought the bloody storyline to life. Months of hard work spent by the crew finally paid off: the detailed design of “Maskerade” made the show feel genuinely professional.

Although the thrill of ghosts and murder loomed overhead, laughter filled the audience. Skelton cleverly crafted humor into the plot to counteract the gruesome deaths of multiple characters.

Cast members running up and down the aisles made the performance an immersive experience. It truly added to the chaos of the scene and allowed viewers to participate by searching the room for ghosts. 

After lots of emotion and adrenaline, the story came to a close with a message that extended far beyond the four walls of the theater. Viewers walked away feeling grateful for Agnes’ confidence because she proved that pretending to be someone you are not will get you nowhere in life. 

By singing in the background for Christine, Agnes was never recognized for her powerful voice. In the end, she emerged into the spotlight, making the audience realize that following your dreams means accepting your imperfections and defying expectations.


Note: The original version of this article used an incorrect pronoun for one of the cast members, which has since been updated.