The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian


This poll has ended.

Do you wear socks with your Uggs?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

It’s a-live! play starring freshman and sophomores

Underclassmen were excited, but nervous for Freshman/Sophomore play auditions
Olivia Tankevicius

Every year as the summer comes to a close, the Freshman/Sophomore play brings excitement to the fall months. Underclassmen spend weeks rehearsing while audiences wait eagerly for the show to premier. This year’s frosh/soph play, “I am Frankenstein” written by John Haman, opens on Oct. 26  making it  a perfect fit for the Halloween season. Director Monica Lani, an English teacher at ETHS, plans to put a new spin on this timeless classic which makes this play one you can’t miss.

Similar to the original Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley, I am Frankenstein follows Victor Frankenstein, an eager student who miraculously discovers how to reanimate the dead.  Different from the original novel, Mary Shelley herself will be an essential character in the show.

“You will see Mary Shelley dealing with issues of loss, rejection and other people’s lack of belief in her abilities. She crafts this world where Victor Frankenstein’s creature is searching for love and approval but only faces rejection,” Lani explains.

This rejection causes Victor to lash out at important people in his life, and makes him feel as if he doesn’t belong. The feeling of exclusion is a chance to relate to the audience to create a shared experience on and off the stage.  As Lani explains “The Frankenstein text really resonates with me because it is a tale about the danger of othering, and how anyone can get behind the idea of feeling like they don’t belong”.  To achieve this, every part of the play will have to work cohesively to represent Frankenstein and Shelley’s struggles in an impactful way.

Auditions took place on Monday, Aug. 28 and Tuesday, Aug. 29, with Lani mainly looking for actors who work well in an ensemble and are willing to take chances.

“We have a lot of fight choreography and ensemble work within this play, so to do that safely, we need actors to build trust and form relationships with one another,” explains Lani. “I’m also looking for kids that are willing to make big, bold choices. Anyone who experiments and has fun with their role is what I love to see in auditions.”

Lani especially encouraged those who love acting and have never been part of a play to try out, because the skills and concepts of an acting role are fairly easy to learn, but the passion for acting is an attribute that is necessary for success no matter your skill level.

For many students, the auditions cause mixed emotions.

“I’m really excited to see how this show will actually play out and become a real thing,”  says sophomore Silas Smith who plays Creature.

But at the same time , Smith was nervous, since the ETHS plays have been the first ones he has been involved in that have cut people. To prepare for the audition, Smith made sure he was confident in his delivery of the monologue he would give during the audition.

“It was just a lot of repeating and trying to memorize,” he explains. “Also a lot of trial and error, figuring out what works.”

Whatever stress the play brought to the students auditioning,  strong community bonds helped tame some of their butterflies. After spending extreme hours with the cast of last year’s frosh/soph play, Clue, Smith developed close bonds with the students involved. These connections come in handy this year, with all the sophomores supporting each other.

“We all come together at this time,” Smith states. “We all help each other improve.”

Although the sophomores in the freshman/sophomore play are a tightly knit group, the freshman didn’t have as much opportunity to meet each other and form friendships before the auditions. Because they don’t all know each other, the freshmen tend to look towards people they knew from previous plays done outside of school.

“When I wanted to discuss auditions and play things as a freshman starting out, I would ask some of my friends that I did different companies with because I did not have any sort of theater people from ETHS to bounce ideas off of,” Smith explains.

However, even with his connections from last year, Smith still didn’t know everyone auditioning.. Without having a close-knit community,  it was hard to confer with all the other students auditioning. At the beginning, the disconnection was stressful for Smith, but eventually he realized that just because not everyone knew each other,  that didn’t mean there was a more competitive aspect in the air.

“At first, I was kind of competing against other people in my head,” Smith says. “But then I realized that I was overcomplicating things.”

Without that feeling of competition, Smith and the others who auditioned for the play this year have time to focus more on the team and community aspect. Smith illustrates why the theater community is what he is looking forward to most in the upcoming freshman/sophomore play.

“It was freaky how fast we all got so close,” remarks Smith. “We’d spent so many hours working towards a collective goal and focusing on it together.”

Preparing for the play this year, Smith and many others immersed themselves in ways to prepare themselves for the auditions. Yet, auditions are just the start of something that will unravel into a play for many to enjoy. Although the beginning is nerve-wracking, with the strong community and exciting atmosphere, the actors/actresses will perform at their greatest potential.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Evanstonian
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Evanstonian. We are planning a big trip to the Journalism Educators Association conference in Philadelphia in November 2023, and any support will go towards making that trip a reality. Contributions will appear as a charge from SNOSite. Donations are NOT tax-deductible.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Stella Davis
Stella Davis, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Stella Davis (she/her). I am a junior, and this is my third year as a staff writer for the Opinion and Art and Entertainment section. I love being a part of The Evanstonian because I enjoy writing about topics I am interested in while working on improving my writing skills. Beyond The Evanstonian, I am on the cross country and track team, as well as a member of Emerge and the Community Service Club. Outside of ETHS, I like to spend time with friends, bake, and watch TV.
Hey! My name is Olivia Tankevicius (they/them). I’m a sophomore, and this is my second year as an artist for the paper! Being part of The Evanstonian staff has allowed me to take my hobby and use it to contribute to my school community, an opportunity I am so grateful for. Around ETHS, you’ll find me acting in theater, and dancing on the ETHS team. Outside of school I love to crochet, dance at another studio, and take really cute pictures of my cat!
Donate to The Evanstonian
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Evanstonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *