By Emily Shen (IV)

On Tuesday, January 21st, the Drama II students performed “How to Succeed in High School Without Really Trying,” a short comedy written by Jonathan Rand. Not only did the performance showcase the students’ performing skills, but it also reflected all of the hard work that the students put into their drama class this year. This piece consisted of 7 different “lessons,” including Homeroom, English, Math, Foreign Languages, Science, History, and Physical Education, and each presents the audience with “tips” on how to succeed in the class without overworking themselves.

Each of these “tips” were brought with joy and comedic relief to the audience. For instance, some tips to succeed in English class included “stroking your chin, nodding, stroking your chin while nodding,” and “whenever possible, use the word ‘juxtaposition’ during class discussions.” Students apply these tips into “real-life examples,” triggering heartfelt laughter from the audience members.  Another tip in this comedy pertained to foreign languages. For instance, if a student struggles to find the right word, “just rattle off random words anyone would know” such as “déjà vu” and “baguette” for French class.

Behind the enjoyable performance was the hard work of Drama II students and Mr. Van Antwerp. When asked about the rehearsing process for the performance, Sarah Kloss (IV) responded, “It was a large cast, so it was hectic trying to get everyone where they were supposed to be [ … ] but, I think Mr. Van Antwerp chose a play that we thought was really funny, and it was nice to have multiple roles because we were able to play different characters.”

Because it was their first time performing on stage, many of the Drama II students were quite nervous before the performance. “I was actually extremely nervous before we were supposed to perform because I had never performed in front of the whole school before, but as soon as I said my first line, I felt ready” Kloss noted. Franklin Zhu (IV), another Drama II performer, shared an anecdote about his experience. “During our rehearsal before the assembly, I accidentally tripped on the microphone and caused a big scene” said Zhu. “I am glad I did that during the rehearsal and not the actual performance.”

The Drama II assembly was a delightful experience for both the performers and the audience members. Both Kloss and Zhu agreed that the script Mr. Antwerp chose worked really well in a school setting. “I really enjoyed how our scenes were about school. It gave me different viewpoints about the environment we are in,” noted Zhu. Olivia Telemaque (IV) reflected on her experience with the assembly, “I really liked the performance! It was really chill and light to alleviate the tension and stress about all the bad news that recently happened.”

The performance went smoothly, and the cast members did an amazing job collaborating with each other to carry out an enjoyable assembly for the Pingry community. We can’t wait to see future performances featuring these talented students!