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First play to premiere in November

The next Palo Alto High School theater production is Oscar Wilde’s late 19th-century comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” This play will be performed at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Nov. 4, 6, 11 and 12.

Beloved for its humor and enduring quality, Wilde’s most popular play uses satire to tease at the Victorian social conventions of the era. Students in the production also recognize its timeless appeal.

“I’m super excited about this show because it’s not a rewrite like some of the other shows we have done,” senior Johnny Rohrbach said. “It is a genuine comedy, and it’s one of the first shows I’ve ever done that made me laugh out loud when I was reading the script.”

Actors received their roles two weeks ago and have begun rehearsals.

“It’s a new and challenging experience that will let me make some bold and exciting choices on stage,” Rohrbach said. “I’m also excited to explore this character because he’s super full of himself, but ends up being rather dumb. So that character-work when I’m deciding some of the character’s traits that aren’t a given to me will be a lot of fun.”

More casual and candid, but never lacking in talented performances, the first Teen Arts Council Open Mic Night will take place at the Mitchell Park Library on Sept. 23.

To develop new skills for the arts and theater department, several students from the Paly theater program took the opportunity to attend the Northern Leadership and Technical Theater Conference, which took place at Santa Clara University.

This one-day conference featured leadership and tech training. The leadership training focused on topics such as business, fundraising, improvisation and teamwork. Technical training featured workshops on stage managing and other technical aspects.

“It’s kind of a smaller version of what happens at State Thespian Festival in March,” said Nadia Leinhos,  Thesipian board president. “Schools across Northern California come to Santa Clara University, and we all participate in workshops and perform to represent our schools. The ideas that you are exposed to in the leadership pathway, the one I’m taking, are easily connected to real-life business and organization of groups.”

Students like Leinhos who participated in the conference walked away with knowledge applicable to their theater careers at Paly.

“Last year, when I went, the most obviously applicable workshop was the one on fundraising,” Leinhos said. “I guess I learned at the workshop that being a leader doesn’t mean you are working alone. In a teamwork/movement workshop I took later, that lesson was solidified with all the improvisation exercises I did with my group. Being a good leader means working with the skills of the people around you to create a team, and thus reach a goal.”

Another performance taking place at the PAC is the Opening Gala. The gala features all Paly performing arts groups, and will take place on Oct. 1. The groups are in the midst of practice for the event.

The choir performance will also include choreography. The gala should be a thrilling and exciting experience.

However, for senior Katie Hetterly, the most exciting event will take place in the spring.

“The thing I’m looking forward to most this year in choir is definitely the Pops Concert,” Hetterly said. “It really gives us the opportunity to have fun with our music and get closer as a group.”

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