Tag Archives: burbank high drama

Burbank High Students Present “The Crucible”

Students in the Burbank High School Drama program present The Crucible at The Colony Theatre with four shows on Thursday through Saturday, April 11 – 13. The Crucible is a partially-fictional 1953 play by Arthur Miller that dramatizes the 1692-93 Salem witch trials at the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Directed by Drama teacher Donovan Glover, who’s in his second year at BHS, The Crucible includes the entire advanced Play Production class, some students from Karen Broderick’s Theater Tech class and a few students from the Drama 2 class who make up the costume and prop crew.

Burbank High School students rehearse for “The Crucible”: (left to right) Jake Noren (John Proctor) 12th grade, Tyler Wahe (Giles Corey) 12th Grade, Azat Sayadi (Anne Putnam) 11th grade, Mohamed Malla (Thomas Putnam) 11th grade, Brie Carns (Rebecca Nurse) 12th grade, Parker Swierczynski (Reverend Parris) 11th grade, Natalie Haroun (Betty Parris) 10th grade. (Photo Courtesy Analise Torres)

“I love the art of directing, particularly when it’s combined with teaching,” said Glover, who previously ran the Theatre Academy at CHAMPS Charter High School before landing at BHS. “I am intent on developing a truly great high school Drama program – one not simply for putting plays together, but one devoted to driving, inspiring, and honing the voices of young artists; as well as producing top-notch, thought-provoking theater (regardless of the actors’ ages).”

“The young artists involved in this current production are remarkable,” commented Glover, who has been directing, writing and acting in theater for almost 30 years. “This is largely the same group of folks that co-created last Fall’s kooky and colorful Spamalot.”

“Last January, they presented a student-written, student-directed One-Act Festival – an eclectic array of original works. And now, we’ve switched gears entirely to delve into this raw, dark, and all too timely world of bullying and intolerance.”

“There is a central force of devotion in this production,” Glover said. “Each cast member is so entirely committed to their role in making this bleak work beautiful and haunting.”

“It is such an important work, perhaps now more than in many decades. I hope people will take the time to come see it, think about what is said, and be impressed by how we all say it.”

Burbank High School students rehearse for “The Crucible”: (left to right) Will Stern (Ezekiel Cheever) 11th grade, Baylen Johnson (John Willard) 10th grade, Kobe Jones (Francis Nurse) 12th grade, Karo Dzhgalian (John Hale) 12th grade, Tyler Wahe (Giles Corey) 12th grade, Carter Nicklaus (John Proctor) 11th grade. (Photo Courtesy Mama J)

Helping the young actors connect with their Crucible characters and time period more than 300 years in the past was an exercise in itself.

“A couple months ago, I gave the cast an assignment to share their character’s life (via an original monologue), as well as present a painting and a piece of music that represented the essence of their Salem character,” Glover explained. “One after another, these presentations were astoundingly profound and challenging… and often beautiful.”

“Many of the music pieces inspired me in my score-creation for this show. Other than the score, we have stripped the show’s production elements down to focus on the actors and Arthur Miller’s words.”

“Of course, we have costumes (dingy, non-traditional), stark lighting and a minimal, Expressionist set, but what will really stand out when one sees this show will be the grave understanding and powerful depth of these actors’ work.”

“Along with Karen Broderick and Patricia Tripp [costumes], I’ve also been helped immeasurably by my acting-coach wife, Maria McCann,” Glover added. “Because I get so utterly devoted to what I’m creating on stage, this allows us to be in the same world, and talk the same talk together… which is nice.”

Burbank High School students rehearse for “The Crucible”: (left to right) Richard Duenckel (John Hale)12th grade, Lily Kamm (Elizabeth Proctor) 11the grade, Jake Noren (John Proctor) 12th grade. (Photo Courtesy Analise Torres)

“It’s been a super awesome experience,” said junior Abby Griffith, who plays Elizabeth Proctor. “Personally, it’s probably been one of the most challenging roles I’ve had because typically we do comedies or musicals and haven’t done anything dramatic to the scale of The Crucible.”

“Getting into her character can be really vulnerable and challenging but it’s also been very rewarding,” Griffith also said. “It’s also been so amazing getting to perform in The Colony Theatre, being able to perform in a professional theater with legitimate dressing rooms.”

“My experience with The Crucible was pretty special and different in that there was a major focus on individual character development,” commented senior Karo Dzhgalian. “Mr. Glover let us pick a piece of music and a work of art to show that we understand the essence of the character.”

“We also were able to go through with Glover’s wife, Mrs. McCann, line by line to really dig deep as to what the character is trying to communicate. I thought this really helped me understand my intentions and allowed me to craft a better performance.”

“Being in The Colony was interesting in that I think makes the whole experience more genuine,” Dzhgalian added. “As someone who wants to pursue acting as a career, I think being able to work and perform in an actual theater as opposed to the school theater was important in that those types of theaters are the ones I want to perform in. Overall I’m pleased with the whole experience and being able to dig deep into this classic and important piece of theater.”

Burbank High School students rehearse for “The Crucible”: Lily Kamm (Elizabeth Proctor) 11th grade, Jake Noren (John Proctor) 12th grade. (Photo Courtesy Patricia Tripp)

Senior Analise Torres counts The Crucible as her third project as stage manager.

“I love it so much,” Torres said. “I have been working with our costuming team and our tech team, and I keep communication flowing between everyone.”

“I also help with the creative process like when it comes to movement of the actors or anything tech wise.,” Torres also said. “Working with everyone is so great and I thrive in the work environment.”

“This show is one of the best I’ve seen from our ensemble, especially the younger members. It is all coming together beautifully and I can’t wait for opening night.”

Burbank High School has four performances of The Crucible set at The Colony Theatre: Thursday, April 11, through Saturday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m., with a matinee on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Colony Theatre is located at 555 N. Third Street in Burbank, with plenty of free parking in the adjacent parking structure.

Some of the roles are double cast – specifically the roles of Abigail Williams, Mary Warren, Reverend Hale, John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor. The two groups – the Salem and the Devil casts – perform two of the four shows each.

Tickets are $10 for students pre-sale and at the door with ASB card and $15 for general admission pre-sale and $18 at the door. Tickets are available in advance here.

Image Courtesy Burbank High School Drama Department.

Burbank High Drama Presents “All In The Timing”

The Burbank High School Drama Department presents All in the Timing, a collection of six one-act plays, on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17. Written by David Ives, All in the Timing, is directed by the school’s new Theater teacher, Ted DeVirgilis.

DeVirgilis replaced former theater head Brooks Gardner, who retired in June, and “knew Ives’ All in the Timing — six silly, smart, illuminating one-act comedies about relativity, randomness and our place in the space-time continuum — would be the perfect first play to direct, and something he’s wanted to tackle for 20 years since first seeing a production of it while attending Syracuse University.”

Twelfth-graders Chelsy Cordon Rojas and Vicktor Aggerwhil examine "Variations on the Death of Trotsky" for Burbank High's performance of "All In The Timing." (Photo Courtesy Burbank High School Drama Dept.)

Twelfth-graders Chelsy Cordon Rojas and Vicktor Aggerwhil examine “Variations on the Death of Trotsky” for Burbank High’s performance of “All In The Timing.” (Photo Courtesy Burbank High School Drama Dept.)

The production includes, according to DeVirgilis: “Sure Thing,” which shows how tough it is for two people to make a love connection, as a bell rings whenever one makes a faux-pas; “Words, Words, Words” invokes the infinite monkey theorem – three monkeys left with enough time will eventually write Hamlet; “Universal Language” introduces to Burbank a new way to communicate, bringing all the languages of the world – and two lonely characters – into harmony; “The Philadelphia” follows a character stuck in a state of being that resembles a black hole… but also serves cheese steak; “Variations on the Death of Trotsky” reveals the Russian revolutionary leader on his final day, coping with the time-space continuum and an axe in his head; “Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread” is a 10-minute slice of avant-garde madness, which is what happens whenever the minimalist composer simply visits a bakery.

“This is not your typical high school play, but I’m sure the audience will laugh. But it’s also challenging, and I want them to think,” commented DeVirgilis. “And there at least one time when things on stage are so strange, they might even be a little disturbed. Nothing for parents to be worried about.”

“Just taking a closer look at things we take for granted or looking at them in a different way. What’s better than being surprised at the theatre?”

Ariana Roth , Margarita Yazichyan and Paige Eccles provide Scene Change Lazzi, or physical comedy/entertainment in between scene changes for the acts.

The production’s design team includes set designer Karen Broderick, who is also the Drama Department’s new Stagecraft teacher, costumes by Marissa Maynes and lighting professional Derrick Kolus, who is assisted by twelfth-grader Hunter Stockwell.

“This has been a great show to work on because Ted DeVirgilis was open to taking the way the play is written with its rhythms, patterns and repetition, along with its quirks and comedy and relativity,” said Broderick who conceptualized the play’s very abstract sets. “He let us really put it into the scenery, lighting and costumes.”

“There are walls that move after every piece and reform to another completely different setting,” added Broderick. “It’s been a great collaboration between myself as set designer, Derrick Kolus, the lighting designer, and Marissa Maynes, the costume designer, to support Ted and give him a strong pallet to work with on his first show as the new Director of Theater at BHS.”

Fiona Maeve Czerwinski, grade 11, and Joshua Johnson, grade 12, rehearse a scene from "Sure Thing" as part of the Burbank High Fall Drama performance "All In The Timing." (Photo Courtesy Burbank High School Drama Dept.)

Fiona Maeve Czerwinski, grade 11, and Joshua Johnson, grade 12, rehearse a scene from “Sure Thing” as part of the Burbank High Fall Drama performance “All In The Timing.” (Photo Courtesy Burbank High School Drama Dept.)

DeVirgilis, who spent the past 12 years as a teacher at John Muir Middle School, is very excited to share his training and expertise with his talented young actors.

“What I want to do with the students at Burbank High is give them some of those skills they’ll get in college, different acting methods and vocal training,” he explained. “I want to show them that acting is more than just getting up there and getting a quick laugh. That there’s an art to it all.”

“I’ve helped with the program and making sure things behind the scenes are running smoothly so Mr. DeVirgilis can be with the actors,” said Assistant Director and BHS student Naira Demirchian. “I think the play is coming along really well and Mr. D’s doing a great job with them.”

“They’re putting together a really amazing play with a lot of great stories. They’re funny but also very heartwarming. And our sets are incredible! I just hope I helped in any way I can because I know Mr. D wants this play to be fantastic, and I fully believe it will be.”

“I would like to just say this has been an amazing and challenging experience; it’s a difficult play but it has tons of potential,” commented Brandon Kilham, who appears in “Universal Language.” “I am very excited to see how things turn out and very thankful [for] Mr. DeVirgilis’ commitment and hard work.”

Pre-sale tickets can be found at BurbankDrama.com, where tickets are $10.00 for general admission, $20 for reserved VIP seats. On the day of the show, adults are $15, Students $10, Students w/ASB cards are $5. BHS is located at 902 N. 3rd Street, Burbank 91502.

Timing poster