Kenston High School
All Because of Agatha
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All Because of Agatha: November 20, 21, & 22, 2009

Photos: Cast and Crew | All Because of Agatha
Below are the articles that covered the fall play.

All Because of Agatha

Anne ZagarThis year Kenston Center Stage will be performing All Because of Agatha for the fall play. The play is about a newlywed couple who move into an old, rustic, and charming home in Salem Massachusetts, knowing that the house has a unique quality. Every year on November 22, the house is visited by a chaotic and stubborn witch named Agatha Forbes, whose only goal is to scare the current residents out of the house. But unfortunately the tables are turned. The family is not afraid of Agatha, but rather they anticipate her arrival. So they decide to throw her a party, and everything goes wrong.

The cast and crew have been working very hard on this play. The set design crew has been coming to the school every Saturday for a little over a month and working on the set from eight in the morning until one in the afternoon. The sound, and light crews have taken extra time to get everything working as they work along with the cast every night during rehearsals. The cast has come a long way from when they first started reading the script. The cast are now in real character when they hit the stage, and it is fun to watch. "There is a difference between performing in front of no audience to performing in front of a full house. The energy is so much better when you know people are there actually watching you perform." said Shannon Shaver who plays Ethel, the maid. Shannon’s character will definitely have you laughing when she comes on stage. You will have to come and see this play to find out. Tickets are now being sold. On-line tickets are available and Pre-sale tickets are available during lunch blocks. Floor Seats are $8, Mezzanine $9, Balcony Reserve $7, and Balcony General Admission $5. The play will be performed on Friday & Saturday, November 20 & 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 22 at 2 p.m.

All Because of Agatha: Tech Week

Mads O'BrienAfter about six weeks of practices, the fall play, "All Because of Agatha," is down to its final week of run thrus. Most importantly, this week is tech week. Tech week is a very intense time for everyone involved in the show. Everybody is treating the rehearsals as close to actual performances as possible, while using all the technology (lighting, sound, and other effects) that will be used in the final performances. This is the last chance for the crew and cast to hone the performance to perfection, and the director and stage manager will settle for nothing less. Some of the people involved in the play stay at the school in the evening for over 4 hours preparing, rehearsing, and tweaking.

So what exactly goes on at a run thru of "All Because of Agatha"? The costume and make-up assistants are working hard to make sure the actors look stage ready. At this point, everyone is practicing in full costume. The backstage crew is in the wings during the run thrus, cueing actors, doing scene changes, and preventing offstage from spiraling into chaos. The lighting and sound crews are coordinating all of the effects that make the play look and sound even better. Finally, at the end of the run thru our director, Mr. Hoffman, gives the cast and crew notes on what he just watched. He doesn't sugar coat them. Everyone tries to be attentive and listen to what they could improve on in order to make the show the best that in can be. Carolyn Newberry says of tech week: "It’s stressful, but seeing it all come together, that’s what you live for." On Thursday, November 19, the play is having its first preview performance. Good luck to all the cast and crew!

Class Helping to Haunt in Fall Play

Every time we walk into Kenston’s new drama/theatre class we read an essential understanding on the whiteboard: “Theatre is a form of knowledge that helps cultures explain the universe.” This is the first year Kenston High School has offered this elective. In it we not only learn about how to put on a production, but also the purposes of theatre and the history behind it. We have learned about acting and directing techniques, differences between professional and amateur theatre, and how to put on a show. The class really helps students express themselves, open up, and do different things. It helps us become better students and people.

One of the first things we did in class was to choose the fall play. Let us tell you, this process was not easy. We focused on the goals and purpose of high school theatre. We came to a conclusion that high school theatre is not necessarily about making money, but more focused on showcasing talent and entertaining the audience. The main purpose of educational theatre however, is giving students a chance to try it out, open up and do something different. In keeping with these objectives the class read synopsizes of six plays and voted on our favorite two. We then read these two plays as a class and decided on All Because Of Agatha by Jonathan Troy.

The play is about the O'Haras, a newly married couple, that move into an old historic house in Salem, Massachusetts. The O'Haras are very curious about the house because the price is exceptionally low considering how "perfect" it seems. The realtor is hesitant, but decides to tell the couple the "legend" of the house. It was built over the very spot, where two hundred and fifty years ago, a woman was burned at the stake having been accused of being a witch. (We all know how paranoid people got about that stuff in the 1600s). The witch, Agatha Forbes, vows to haunt the house on the same day every year.

Mr. O'Hara is reluctant, but Mrs. O'Hara is intrigued. The couple decides to buy the house and throw a party on the night Agatha is to return, hoping it's a farewell party and they can break the spell that binds her to return. The party is attended by some neighbors and family members including a very odd newspaper reporter, a frazzled aunt, a somewhat "geeky" doctor, a crazy medium, and a sassy housekeeper. Will Agatha show up? You'll just have to go see the Kenston High School performance!

The cast includes Jack Burg, Carolyn Newberry, Josh Weemhoff, Mads O'Brien, Shannon Shaver, Mattias Treu, CeCe Comings, Stephen Mason, Bobbi Szabo, and Hannah Krasowski. The performances are November 20th, 21st at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, November 22nd at 2:00 p.m. On-line tickets go on sale November 2. Visit the high school website for more information. Tickets will also be sold in the high school commons over lunch beginning Monday, November 9. Don’t miss this scary fun production! You won't be disappointed!

Fall Play 2009: All Because of Agatha

Filled with bright, funny dialogue and a cast of thoroughly delightful characters, the play deals with the hilarious plight of a young couple who move into a centuries-old house, only to find that it is haunted by a distressingly capricious, maddeningly tenacious yet undeniably appealing witch.

Friday & Saturday, November 20 & 21 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 22 at 2:00 p.m.

On-line tickets go on sale November 2 -
Pre-sale tickets go on sale during lunch blocks November 9
Floor Seats $8
Mezzanine $9
Balcony Reserve $7
Balcony General Admission $5

All About Agatha!

Anne ZagarMr. Hoffman and Mrs. Santilli have come to an agreement on this year's fall production. Kenston Center Stage will perform a play this fall called All Because Of Agatha by Jonathon Troy. Written in 1964 the play is a comedy/farce. Duff O'Hara is a cartoonist and can live wherever he wants, and at the urging of Joan, his young fiancée, the couple decides to move to the historic Salem, Massachusetts. There they both fall in love with a charming rustic house that is shown to them; although Duff proves misgivings when the real estate man accidentally admits to the couple that the house has one rather bizarre feature which has prevented previous owners from staying there for long—it is visited each year by a slightly destructive and crazy witch named Agatha Forbes.

Hopeful performers that have auditioned for a part in the play anticipate the cast list. The cast list is now posted outside room A203. The play calls for 4 men and 6 women. Mattias Treu who starred as Heidi (FBI agent, old lady) in Murder At Coppersmith Inn, Teen Angel in Grease, and is now playing as Dr. Randolph in All Because Of Agatha says, "I am thrilled that All Because Of Agatha was chosen for this year’s fall production." The dates for the play are still to be determined, but everyone will be notified when the dates are finalized. Information about the Spring Musical will be out in January. After the performances of Grease and Murder at Coppersmith Inn last year, people of the community are excited to see these upcoming productions.

All Because of Agatha: Cast List

Duff O’Hara: Jack Burg
Joan O’Hara: Carolyn Newburry
Mr. Van Buren: Josh Weemoff
Mrs. Boggs: Mads O'Brien
Ethel: Shannon Shaver
Dr. Randolph: Mattias Treu
Thelma Breckenridge: CeCe Comings
Flip Cannon: Stephen Mason
Madame La Solda: Bobbi Szabo
Agatha Forbes: Hannah Krasowski

Thanks to all who auditioned!

Casting is always a difficult job. Remember it is not a question of your talent, but who the director feels is best suited to the role. This is a subjective process and will always disappoint someone.

Please consider auditioning for our spring musical. More information will be posted at a later date and auditions will be scheduled in January.