One Man, Two Guvnors prepares for opening night
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Make ‘em laugh!
On Feb. 9, the ETHS theater company will perform the comedy play One Man, Two Guvnors.
“The play is a contemporary comedy even though it’s not set in America in 2017,” Theater Director Timothy Herbert says. “It was adapted from a 17th century commedia dell’Arte play called the Servant of Two Masters set in England in the 1960s.”
The show centers on Francis Henshall, played by junior Asher White, who works for two people at the same time. The two employers, one a woman dressed up as her dead twin brother, the other being the man who killed him, are in love.
“We try to balance the plays we do in terms of style, tone, and size,” Herbert says. “This one’s very different since I don’t know the last straight up comedy that we’ve done.”
Along with the songs, dances and jokes, the show also features a stunning xylophone solo performed by White.
“The xylophone solo is tricky. I’m a self-trained drummer, so figuring notes out with the band is something that I don’t quite have down yet,” White says.
While having one of the most demanding roles in the play, White also created a poster reminiscent of 60s British advertisement for the show.
“I worked a lot with texture and type to arrive at a trash-littered vintage vibe,” White says. “We wanted something as playful and seemingly-haphazard as the show itself.”
Since the December auditions, students have spent hours rehearsing, not to mention the preparation for the auditions themselves.
“I prepared for this audition by reading the entire play twice,” junior Marta Bady says. “That way I really understood the motives of the character I wanted.”
Although the show has rehearsals every weekday, it is by far the least demanding of all theater productions during the year.
“It’s not too bad of a commitment; the winter play is one of the shortest processes,” senior Gaby Godinez says. “It rehearses from the last week before winter break to mid February.”
Even with a short window for rehearsal, the actors have worked to bring the colorful characters to life.
“My character is basically the fairy godmother from Shrek 2,” Godinez says. “I get to be lovey-dovey and angry at the same time. It’s the perfect mix!”
Despite multiple performances a year, countless hours of rehearsal, and preparation for auditions, theater remains an important aspect of many actors’ lives.
“Theatre is important to me because it gives me an outlet of expression,” Bady says. “From the moment I started theatre, I haven’t stopped. It is a part of my identity.”
With such a close-knit theatre company, auditioning for a show may be intimidating, but the crew welcomes all with open arms. “I’ve learned to be myself in the Upstairs Theatre,” Godinez says. “It’s a safe space with the loveliest people you’ll ever meet.”
Although theatre is open to all, the pressure to be better than the last is always present, especially in auditions. “My advice is to prepare more than you think you need to,” Bady says. “Theatre is very competitive, and people are always willing to work twice as hard as you. Although the auction process can cause occasional stress and competition, theatre allows a platform for students to make a statement.
“We need the theatre to tell our stories and express our views,” Godinez says. “It’s the greatest form of expression and protest.”