Tag Archives: Burroughs Drama

JBHS Drama Presents “To Kill A Mockingbird”

The John Burroughs High School Drama Department presents Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill A Mockingbird on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 12 – 14.

Adapted by Christopher Sergel, the play chronicles a series of violent events in a small town in Alabama in 1935, loosely based on real events Lee experienced as a child in the Deep South. The story is as relevant today as when it was originally published in 1960.

(Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Drama Department)

Told through the eyes of two children – Scout and Jem Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird examines prejudice, justice and moral conscience when a young black man is wrongfully charged with the rape of a white girl.

“It is such a pleasure to work with students who are able to handle this sensitive material in such a mature way,” commented JBHS Drama Director Guy Myers. “They have been dedicated throughout the process, and the seniors have done an excellent job of mentoring all of the new students.”

(Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Drama Department)

“We have so many freshmen in the main cast for this show, and the new energy has invigorated our rehearsals!” he added. “We have collaborated with our wonderful woodshop teacher, John Benne, on building the sets, and of course the amazing tech students, led by the talented Jon King.”

“I have absolutely loved working on this production,” said student producer Talya Cohen. “It’s really incredible to see this show step by step, and it seems I only get more emotionally invested as time goes on.”

“There is an equal part new and old faces in this show so it was great to see them learning and growing together as an ensemble,” she said. “As a senior, it’s sad to see what I have to leave behind, but I know that the graduating class has left this program in capable hands. I can only hope the audience can see the passion and dedication we all have for this program.”

(Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Drama Department)

“I have the honor of playing Atticus Finch,” explained senior Sully Zack. “He’s a man truly ahead of his time, and he often serves as the moral conscience of Maycomb County.”

“Atticus Finch is hands down one of my favorite characters, so the chance to play him has made for one incredible experience. And the fact that I’ve gotten to spend rehearsals with such a tight-knit and talented cast has only augmented that experience.”

To Kill A Mockingbird is my last JBHS drama production,” added Zack. “And while I’m sad to leave the amazing program where I have made memories, my best friends and where I have been encouraged to follow my dreams, I know that with my incredibly talented peers, and the guidance of Mr. Myers, our little program is destined for success.”

(Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Drama Department)

To Kill A Mockingbird has been the perfect topper to the drama cake,” said senior Maddie Seiffert. “I get to play Miss Maudie, which is challenging because not only is she motherly and older, but she’s also a warm and young spirit.”

“This has been such a fun part to play as the balance between the town creates such a loving environment but also this horrid conflict between those who believe in right or wrong.”

“Drama for the past four years has been a home to me,” Seiffert also said. “It’s a place filled with the most loving, caring, and funny people on campus! It’s been a blast for every show!”

(Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Drama Department)

“My character is a sad victim of abuse, poverty and racism,” commented junior Megan Mazer who portrays Mayella Ewell. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to play this role and to expand my abilities as an actress.”

“I’m extremely grateful to be performing as Scout with such a talented cast,” said freshman Jordyn Holt. “I’ve made many new friends this freshman year, and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to perform with these amazing people.”

“Each person is inspirational and I love learning from them all. Although Scout is young and naive, she is able to teach the importance of acceptance, and displays unconditional love for others. This show is incredible. I’m so proud of the whole cast’s delivery… I can’t wait for opening night!”

Tickets are $10 for students, staff and seniors and $15 general admission. They are available online here and at the box office before the show begins. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 14.

“Harper Lee’s classic work still remains so relevant, and it has been a show I have wanted to direct for a long time,” added Myers. “Audiences are in for something special.”

 

JBHS Drama Presents “The Comedy Of Errors”

John Burroughs High School Drama department presents their final performance of the school year with William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. The play opens Friday evening, May 8, and runs through Sunday afternoon, May 10. JBHS Drama’s performance continues to use Shakespearean language, but has been updated to included musical and other elements for comedic and contemporary effect.

The Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s earliest and most farcical plays, according to Drama teacher and director Guy Myers. The comedy tells the story of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth. Years later, Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio arrive in Ephesus, which also turns out to be the home of their long lost twin brothers who, to add to the confusion, also happen to have exactly the same names.

(Photo Courtesy of Guy Myers)

(Photo Courtesy of Guy Myers)

“When they encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities end in hilarious slapstick results, including wrongful beatings and arrest, unlikely romances and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession!” explained Myers. “The physical comedy and constant confusion of Shakespeare’s masterpiece is sure to delight and entertain audiences of all ages!”

“Ultimately the play is about the search for family and self, but told through the comic lens of mistaken identity, constant confusion and wacky mishaps.”

Senior Sawyer Patterson portrays Antipholus of Ephesus while junior Daniel Beimford plays Antipholus of Syracuse. Junior Nick Apostolina is Dromio of Syracuse and senior James Conkle portrays Dromio of Ephesus. Adriana is played by junior Madison Mayer, senior Mina Shadrick is Luciana and junior Matt Bond is Egeon.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Senior Ella Essiambre has been the Drama department’s student producer since the end of her freshman year at Burroughs, for a total of four years in the position.

“My first show was Once in a Lifetime and it opened up a new passion in my life,” commented Essiambre. “I love being able to be of something that results in a large number of people seeing what I helped make happen and enjoy it.”

The graduating senior plans to continue producing and will major in film at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall.

“I do hope I can help with theater again in my future as doing so at John Burroughs for so long has gotten me where I am today,” Essiambre added. “It has showed me who I want to be and I will be forever grateful for that.”

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Mayer explains her character, Adriana, “She is victim to the great amount of confusion occurring around her. I love what Adriana stands for. Amongst a show of absurdity, Adriana represents an unwillingness to give in to her husband’s bidding.”

“She is a strong female lead who believes she, as a wife, deserves just as much as any husband, and her rage stems from the dissonance between her beliefs and her situation,” Mayer added. “The show as a whole has been such a pleasure to be in for the reason that there is nothing like acting completely ridiculous among comrades.”

“It’s near impossible to be in a bad mood during rehearsals, because everyone is giggling their troubles away. We get to make complete fools of ourselves while still maintaining integrity through the genius that is William Shakespeare.”

“I really enjoy my role in The Comedy of Errors because I get to be in several fight scenes,” commented Conkle. “After graduation I plan on becoming an actor. I have taken two years of drama with Mr. Myers and those two years have improved my acting skills to a great degree. The class has also given me so many great friends and tons of memories with them.”

(Photo Courtesy of Guy Myers)

(Photo Courtesy of Guy Myers)

“I love Luciana; playing her is such a joy because she’s so consistently upbeat, kind-hearted and open-minded,” added Shadrick. “She cares for her sister more than anything. She has so much love that she gives to everyone and she just wants to be loved in return, and of course that’s really relatable. On the other hand, she’s also very young and naive, but that’s just what makes her a realistic character.”

Graduating senior Shadrick also expressed gratitude for Myers’ teaching and work with JBHS Drama. She starts studies at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles in the fall, with plans to complete a BFS in acting and to become a film actress.

“Mr. Myers is incredible. He’s such a talented and hardworking director, and we are so lucky to have him,” she said. “Our shows wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable, both from an audience and backstage perspective, if it weren’t for him. I have been his student for four years and I am so grateful for everything he has taught me. He has definitely shaped who I am as an actor and helped me become more confident in my skills.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Beimford enjoyed the range of emotions and actions he was able to draw on for his character, Antipholus of Syracuse.

“I just love playing sometime who is completely arrogant and has a short temper. In our November show, Flowers for Algernon, I played this mild mannered, all around helpful person,” Beimford explained. “It’s almost like this role is a 360 and I love it. Playing horrible people is immensely fun. Granted, Antipholus of Syracuse isn’t company amoral, but he’s not a great guy. And its just so fun to play those kinds of characters.”

“If I learned anything, on an academic level, Shakespeare is actually understandable when you perform the words. On a personal level, I love working with this group of people,” he added. “And if Mr Myers weren’t the director, I would probably just be running around on stage, screaming every line because I wouldn’t know any better. So there’s definitely a new level of appreciation for what Mr. Myers does, especially when he has to direct teens and Shakespeare.”

(Photo Courtesy of Guy Myers)

(Photo Courtesy of Guy Myers)

“I have had so many laughs rehearsing this play with the students, because everyone is really throwing themselves into the physical comedy and I see the students having a lot of fun with their characters,” commented Myers. “There are so many ensemble moments throughout the show, so it has also been rewarding watching the group dynamic come together as the show gets closer to opening night!”

The Comedy of Errors runs May 8 and 9 at 7:00 p.m. and May 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the John Burroughs High School Auditorium located at 1920 W. Clark Avenue in Burbank. Tickets are $12 general admission, $8 for students, faculty and seniors. Tickets may be purchased in advance via this link.

Burroughs Legally Blonde Musical Brings On The Fun And Fabulousness

John Burroughs High School’s latest foray into musical theater is an unabashed bow to the fun and fabulousity of the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, “Legally Blonde.” Senior Robin Mazer does a fantastic job of bringing the admirable qualities of lead character Elle Woods to life on the JBHS stage, with an excellent performance.

The Burroughs’ Legally Blonde musical also showcases the high caliber of JBHS students and teachers, with stellar performances from the large cast. Sophomore Sully Zack convinces the audience with his kind-hearted and likeable Emmett Forest. Junior Miles Gonzalez nails the arrogance, bite and power of law professor and self-described shark, Callahan.

Burroughs senior Robin Mazer, wearing pink, presents her personal essay to the Harvard Law School admissions office in "Legally Blonde." (Photo Courtesy of Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Burroughs senior Robin Mazer, wearing pink, presents her personal essay to the Harvard Law School admissions office in “Legally Blonde.” (Photo Courtesy of Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Junior Faydean Kielty wows with both acting and voice (what a voice!) as beauty shop stylist Paulette. Senior Natalie Charouhas is pitch perfect with her portrayal as accused murderer Brooke Wyndham and junior Madison Mayer hits all the right notes, literally and figuratively, with her portrayal of Vivienne Kensington.

Senior Sawyer Patterson is solid as the too-cool, yet serious, Warner Huntington III, the object of Elle’s initial efforts. Juniors Josh Strobl, Jeremy Moran and Nick Apostolina give strong, multi-character performances. Daniel Beimford as Kyle, the swaggering UPS delivery guy, pulls a lot of laughs from the audience.

(Photo Courtesy of Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

JBHS junior Miles Gonzalez, as Professor Callahan, brings all the ruthlessness of the character to bear in “Legally Blonde.” (Photo Courtesy of Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Senior Samantha Rubin and juniors Winston Browne and Liliana Schoenke entertain the crowd throughout the performance, and at intermission, as Elle’s personal Delta Nu Greek Chorus.

Sophomore Maddie Seiffert is absolutely hilarious as aspiring lawyer Enid Hoops, with well-timed and engaging physical and verbal humor.

Working with live animals is always a challenge, and the JBHS students work well with the two dogs, Rocky and Louis, who portray Elle’s pet chihuahua Bruiser and Paulette’s beloved Rufus.

Junior Faydean Kielty wows as Paulette in "Legally Blonde." (Photo Courtesy of Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Junior Faydean Kielty wows as Paulette in “Legally Blonde.” (Photo Courtesy of Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Drama teacher Guy Myers, Vocal director Brendan Jennings and Instrumental teacher Taylor Arakelien have another success on their hands. With top-notch production support from Dan Scoville, Jennifer Stanley, Brian Carlson, Joanie Coyote, Jon King, Billy Yakes, Clarke Surrey, Erika Wolf and Justin Solano, Burroughs’ Legally Blonde musical is nothing short of spectacular, a show focused on fun and positivity.

With so many rich roles and a fine job of casting, the students of John Burroughs High School excel in their performances.

The final show is at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, February 8, and tickets are available at the door. More information on JBHS Drama and Legally Blonde can be found here and here.

JBHS Drama Sweeps Major Awards At 2015 CETA

JBHS Drama’s production of Flowers For Algernon won several major awards at the 2015 California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) competition, including Best Ensemble, Best Tech Crew, Best Leading Actor – Male for junior Nick Apostolina’s portrayal of Charlie and Best Leading Actor – Female for senior Samantha Rubin in her role as Alice. The Flip Reade Award for special movement in a theatrical production went to sophomore Christopher Spencer for his role as Little Charlie.

JBHS Drama wins the 2015 CETA award for Best Ensemble for "Flowers for Algernon." (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

JBHS Drama wins the 2015 CETA award for Best Ensemble for “Flowers for Algernon.” (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

The entire Flowers For Algernon cast and technical crew, along with Director and Drama teacher Guy Myers, Tech Director Jon King, Assistant Tech Director Clarke Surrey and several parent chaperones began loading in the full theatrical production set, including lights and costumes, at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, January 17.

At 8:30 a.m., the curtains rose and JBHS Drama presented Flowers For Algernon at Fullerton’s 1300-seat, historical Plummer Auditorium.

“The cast and I were very nervous that we would be performing so early, we didn’t know if we’d be able to give the audience our best performance,” said Rubin. “We all had to really focus and pull it together.

Nick Apostolina as Charlie on stage at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium performing "Flowers for Algernon." (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Nick Apostolina as Charlie on stage at Fullerton’s Plummer Auditorium performing “Flowers for Algernon.” (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

In addition to the multiple major awards, Burroughs Drama and Tech students won 14 certificates for outstanding performance in many areas, including costume design and direction.

JBHS Drama tech crew wins Best Tech Crew award at 2015 CETA. (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

JBHS Drama tech crew wins Best Tech Crew award at 2015 CETA. (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

“CETA was such an amazing experience, from getting to meet tons of people from other schools to waking up super early to perform Flowers for Algernon,” Rubin also said. “Everyone was so nice and very supportive.”

“When the show came to an end I got all choked up because I have grown so attached to this cast and show,” she continued. “We were all so honored to be chosen to perform.”

CETA Best Actor - Male Nick Apostolina (Charlie) and Best Actor - Female Samantha Rubin (Alice) react to JBHS winning best ensemble. (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

CETA Best Actor – Male Nick Apostolina (Charlie) and Best Actor – Female Samantha Rubin (Alice) react to JBHS winning best ensemble. (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

“When they announced that I won best actress I was in shock. I really didn’t think it was real, I thought it was a dream,” Rubin said. “I am so honored to receive this award. And so happy for Nick and the rest of the cast for winning as well.”

“It was a special day for all of the kids who were there and, I think, a shining example of the program and standard of the theatrical education available at Burroughs,” commented Myers. “They did Burbank proud.”

JBHS Drama teacher Guy Myers (center) with his best drama trophy for "Flowers For Algernon." (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

JBHS Drama teacher Guy Myers (center) with his best drama trophy for “Flowers For Algernon.” (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

“The students displayed incredible passion and professionalism, and I am extremely proud of them for their collaborative spirit and work ethic,” he added.

Burroughs High School’s Flowers For Algernon was one of four productions selected to perform at the annual CETA Southern High School Theatre Festival, after more than 60 schools were judged in October and November 2014. The festival invited the best high school theater productions in Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire and San Diego County to perform during the weekend of January 16 – 18, 2015.

JBHS sophomore Chris Spencer with his award for Best Dramatic Use of Movement for his role as Little Charlie in "Flowers For Algernon." (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

JBHS sophomore Chris Spencer with his award for Best Dramatic Use of Movement for his role as Little Charlie in “Flowers For Algernon.” (Photo Courtesy Kathy Flynn/Wicked Goddess Photography)

Previous articles, including a review, on JBHS Drama’s Flowers For Algernon can be found here and here.

JBHS Drama’s next production is the musical Legally Blonde, which will run from Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8, at the Burroughs High School Auditorium.

Burroughs Students Show Just How to Succeed in Business

Burroughs Preforming Arts Dept. Presents 'How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The John Burroughs High School Preforming Arts Dept. presented ‘How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying’ this weekend in the school’s auditorium.

Directed by Guy Myers, the students put on a flawless performance. The city is known as the “Media Capital”, and both public high schools put on shows that are “Hollywood Theater” quality.

The same play was presented by Burroughs students 38 years ago.  It was still rousing the audience today.  The Drama, Vocal Music, and Instrrument Music departments did another outstanding job.