Cue stage lights, cue music, cue the tranquilizing silence of the crowd and the escalation of the heart’s thundering. The familiar ring of a school bell commenced the start of two hours of the actors’ most heartbreaking, passionate, touching, and unforgettable theatre production.
In Our Own Backyard, the high school theatre’s fall production shed light on issues that are normally unnoticeable or even concealed by our society. The cast of this production tackled the issue of bullying in a school setting, diving beneath the obvious layer we see and uncovering the depressing effects of bullying. Unlike previous years when the fall plays leaned towards humorous and optimistic stories, this year’s more depressing and serious production became a valuable learning opportunity for all the students involved to grow and change as an individual.
This play would not have been possible without, of course, the actors, backstage crew, stage managers, and teachers.
Ashley Na (‘21), a first-time actor, described the play as “very dark, but we all hugged each other after especially heavy scenes and it really brought us closer together to create a bond that will never be forgotten.”
Noah Kim (‘18), 7th production: “I love acting: the goosebumps on my arm, my legs shaking, the adrenaline fueling me. My addiction to this feeling is why I want to keep doing this activity. The camaraderie of the theater community has brought me some of my closest friends.”
Ashley Kwon (‘20), Stage Manager: “My role was to make sure everyone was on task, give cues to the sound and lighting booth, and make sure blue-ribbon month gave a positive impact to our KIS high school!”
Opening night for the cast can be nerve-wracking, especially for first-time actors, and even experienced actors are prone to mistakes. Even Joey Park, an experienced senior actor who has been involved in several productions throughout his high school career, admitted to a funny mistake on opening night. “As soon as I stepped my foot on stage on the opening night, I tripped and fell on Noah’s foot. I was really nervous from the beginning, but as soon as that happened, I panicked. The audience gasped and the actors on stage looked at me with shock. However, this got me more of a reason to hate the character, and I used that anger to motivate me for the rest of the play”.
As the three nights of the production came to an end and the final curtain dropped, the hard work and determination of the actors were recognized by the showering of applause. Several people from the audience, standing up and giving standing ovations truly reflected the valuable experience of a wider global perspective and growth as a student.
– Michelle Shin (’21)