Charley’s Aunt Takes Center Stage

Rachel Tropp ‘16
EE Editor-in-Chief


Rob Long (Fancourt Babberly) dressed as Charley’s Aunt “The dress was cozy.” Rob Long ‘16

This past weekend, the THeSpians brought Charley’s Aunt to the THS stage. The production was completely student-run, directed by seniors Katherine Griffin and Michael Lepore. Costume, set, and lighting design, as well as production, were all led by students also, with mentorship from THS teachers including Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, and Mr. Bracksieck.

The Victorian-era comedy centered around two Oxford students, Jack Chesney (Jack Leonard ‘16) and Charley Wykeham (Colin McLevy ‘17), who fell in love with Kitty Verdun (Cristina Catana ‘17) and Amy Spettigue (Martha Hegley ‘16). Charley’s aunt was supposed to visit from Brazil and chaperone the couples at lunch, but when she didn’t arrive, fellow Oxford student Lord Fancourt Babberly (Rob Long ‘16) dressed up as her and farcical comedy ensued.

The play also featured seniors Jordan Buckman, Andrew Scott, Maeve Hegley, Emily Ramsey, and Zac Gottschall, winner of the Connecticut High School Music Theater Awards’ Outstanding Leading Actor.

Production began over the summer, as the creative team worked to design plans and get ready for September auditions. From there, the ten-person cast rehearsed every Thursday and Friday in October and November, while crew began to meet to create sets, props, lighting designs, and all the other aspects of theater that brought the show to life.

Senior Martha Hegley, whose parents had been in a production of Charley’s Aunt in college, was thrilled to play the same role her mother had.

Having been a part of numerous shows before, she added, “As much as I like the big cast experience, I liked having a small cast because I got to get closer to everyone, including people I’d never met. We got so close so fast.”

Other cast and crew members also enjoyed the unique experience, as most THS shows have included far larger casts, whereas for this show, many former cast members tried out a behind-the-scenes experience.

Helen Samoskevich, who was in The Crucible last year, worked on publicity this year, taking pictures and videos at rehearsal and making commercials to be played in homeroom. She said, “It was a great experience doing crew for the first time in Trumbull, seeing things from things from the other side of the production spectrum.”

Sound effect designer Franchesca Almonte ‘17 agreed, saying,“I love knowing I made people laugh by putting sound onstage and I loved working with Mr. Bracksieck behind the scenes.”

As time got down to the wire, many students could be seen working hard to stay awake and keep up with grueling tech week, with rehearsal until 9:00 every night. Yet impressive improvements were made in a very short time, and, as crew member Julia Shikhman ‘18 said,“It was cool to see the show come together from a few prop pieces to the whole set onstage.”

Though the show is over, the THeSpians aren’t resting long. Auditions for the spring musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, will be November 30 and December 2nd, with a preaudition meeting in the auditorium November 24th for those interested.



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