The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

Pride and Prejudice hits the stage

Jane+Bennet%2C+played+by+Emme+Buesing%2C+junior%2C+shows+a+letter+to+her+sister+Elizabeth%2C+played+by+Ryan+Bennett%2C+senior.
Elsa Heinrich
Jane Bennet, played by Emme Buesing, junior, shows a letter to her sister Elizabeth, played by Ryan Bennett, senior.

April 26. The lights come up on stage. The culmination of two months of work is about to be presented to a packed auditorium: Pride and Prejudice for three shows at the James Barr Auditorium
Set in the early 1800s, Pride and Prejudice is the third and final show of the theater department’s regular theater season. The season is decided months in advance, and Amelia Figg-Franzoi, director and theater teacher, wanted to do an older show this year.
“I haven’t done a time-period piece like Pride and Prejudice in a while. It’s not the physical comedy of Peter and the Starcatcher or the musical theatre of Oklahoma! It’s funny but in a strict etiquette-following manner. I really like Pride and Prejudice and it’s a text the students haven’t explored yet. It has lots of male and female roles and it’s part of the AP Lit reading list, so it checks all the boxes of educational and entertaining. I love the cultural and social aspects of history. I don’t care about war and politics, but I love learning about everyday life. Pride and Prejudice is also about historical dances and etiquette. It’s so fun to explore and learn. I love theatre in that way, you are always learning,” Figg-Franzoi said.
The beginning of the show process was a multi-day audition process, during which, actors had to prepare, memorize, and perform monologues.
“Everyone is supportive and cheering for each other. To our dismay, Figg decided to have everyone perform our monologues a second time but in a different way. She would tell people to do their monologue as if they were on a roller coaster or as if they were a valley girl. After everyone performed their monologues, we learned a dance for the rest of the auditions. The next day we ran some scenes and did some more dancing. I can’t explain the feeling, but you want it over while knowing you need to begin in order to be done,” Addison Drumm, sophomore who played Mrs. Bennet, said.
Once auditions are concluded, the cast list is sent out. Pride and Prejudice starred Brian Franks, senior, and Ryan Bennett, senior, as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett respectively.
“They are so fun to watch. Brian Franks at Darcy in Act 2 tears at your heart and also makes you laugh out loud. Ryan Bennett at Elizabeth masters subtle facial expressions and outright annoyance. It’s loving watching them act,” Figg-Franzoi said.
After roles have been designated, everyone arrives at the Performing Arts Center every weekday after school in order to work on scenes, create dances, and run through the show.
“Rehearsals (are) kinda silly. Other than trying to remember dance steps, I feel as though this rehearsal process has been light-hearted and fun. we do get things done, but we will laugh while doing it. Last night our 1st tech rehearsal dissolved into giggles multiple times due to skipped lines, costume mishaps, and dance lifts,” Figg-Franzoi said.
Homestead’s award-winning theater program offers more ways to participate than just acting. Students can participate in stage crew, costumes, make-up, assistant direct, or light operators in the show.
“We can build great sets and have fantastic costumes. Our directors also give us feedback on our acting during scenes, so we can better the play” Aidan Bigonia, sophomore, who played Mr. Bennet said.
“We have a lovely costume crew who helped with all the costumes you see on the stage. Also, Stage Crew built the platform and stairs, painted them, and gathered props. Two students in my Tech Theatre class focused all the lights and created the lighting design for the show with the rest of the class building furniture for the show. As always, it’s a team effort,” Figg-Franzoi said.
As the final show of the year, many students will miss the show, and the people they have worked with.
“The most rewarding part of any show is the memories. After every show is finished you have this realization that you will never do this again with the exact people at that exact moment. That sort of sad feeling makes you thoroughly enjoy the moments leading up to the shows,” Drumm said.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Seiberlich
Matthew Seiberlich, Assistant Editor
Matthew Seiberlich is a junior at Homestead High School. Outside of Publications, Matthew is an Eagle Scout, President of the Wisconsin Junior Classical League, a Latin Club member, Vice President for the Drama Club and Film Club, a Student Council member, and a lacrosse player. In his free time, Matthew enjoys fishing, camping, Legos, and reading.

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