A Fresh Take on Froshmore

Maya Neufeld-Wall

In the past, Nerinx’s Froshmore play has been a great opportunity for freshmen and sophomores to get involved in the theater community. That tradition continued this year, but with a twist. On January 26th, 27th, and 28th, Froshmore took the form of one-acts, directed by seniors Abby Jensen and Julia Budd. Julia remarked, “I was surprised that we hadn’t done it before…I know other schools do [student-directed plays] a lot, and when I knew about this opportunity, I jumped at it.” Abby added, “Froshmore has looked like a lot of different things in the past, and I thought [this] was a really good idea to get the upperclassmen involved. I was really excited when [Ms. Jenni Ryan] asked me to direct.”


Abby’s show, In Juliet’s Garden, invited the audience to see what Shakespeare’s female characters think of their portrayal in his plays. “Shakespeare’s agent is there to clear the air and give the opposing view to what they were thinking about,” Abby said. “I’ve done a few Shakespeare shows,” she commented, “and I’m a fan. I thought it would be fun for the freshmen and sophomores to play these roles and learn about Shakespeare.”


The audience traveled across the border to Prince Edward Island, Canada, for Julia’s show, a dramatic adaptation of the novel Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables features spunky red-haired Anne (although she’d rather be called Cordelia) and her many escapades with her bosom friend Diana, her archenemy Gilbert Blythe, and everyone in between. Julia chose Anne as her one-act because she “felt that it was important to have empowered women and a lesson to be learned in literature. Anne makes her own path in life. She was a role model for young girls, and I hope she still is.”


These two seniors were both first-time directors, and each of them learned valuable lessons from the experience. “I realized it was so hard to space everything out so the actor can move around…I found myself wanting to add extra things, but I knew it would confine the actors,” Julia commented. Abby remarked, “Sometimes, you say something and you think it’s going to work and it totally doesn’t, and your whole vision is changed every time.”


However, the experience was ultimately rewarding for the two directors. For Abby, it was when the actors got to have their moment onstage. “I was helping some of them work on their monologues the other day, and they put their own twist on it and had a brilliant character moment.” Julia’s favorite part was researching for her show. “I liked researching Prince Edward Island. I loved sharing that with the cast. I looked into the harvest days and the crops they grew on the island. I thought it was something fun to put into the show as a nod.”


While Froshmore took a new form this year, Abby and Julia still stayed true to the spirit behind the plays. “Maggie [Ryan] gave me such a good experience freshman year,” Julia remembered. “I met a lot of my friends then, and I wanted to give the freshmen an opportunity to make friends.” In fact, so many students auditioned this year that Ms. Ryan decided to direct a third one-act, titled The Fairy Tale Trials, in which the Wicked Witch of the West is put on trial.

With Nerinx’s freshman and sophomore theatre participation growing and growing, this F

roshmore update has us excited for the years to come.