Senior Phil Engel takes the lead


Senior Phil Engel has participated in all but one Mercy show since her freshman year (Photo credit: Theresa Benton).

Singer, dancer, musician, and performer are all words that can be used to describe senior Phil Engel. And, as of August 26, “accused murderer” can be added to that list.

Well, kind of.

Engel, a member of the International Thespian Society, recently learned that she would be playing the role of Karen Andre in Mercy’s fall play, The Night of January 16th.

“[Karen] is Bjorn Faulkner’s secretary, and [she] may or may not have killed him, that’s why [she is] on trial,” Engel said of her character. “[She is] quiet, cold, indifferent, firm and determined. So pretty much the opposite of myself, which makes Karen both fun and challenging.”             

This will be the first lead role at Mercy for Engel, who has been involved in the Drama Dept. since freshman year.

“I would be incredibly nervous, but I’ve actually had a lead before, being Juliet in Blue Lake’s shortened production of Romeo and Juliet, so that relieves most of the nerves,” Engel said. “Even though Karen is more demanding and has more lines, I’m mostly excited.”

Engel’s eagerness to perform is evident in her everyday life. She said she has been trying to speak like Karen in daily conversation, even when she is not practicing lines. Engel attributes this ability to the voice lessons she has taken since freshman year, which helps her to project her voice more.

In addition to taking voice lessons, Engel plays the piano and is member of Tri-M, Advanced Glee, and the Mercyaires. Her affinity for music is no surprise, as Engel said her family is very music-oriented.

“Everyone in my family plays at least one instrument so we’re always jamming and harmonizing,” she said.

When asked whether she was interested in having a lead in the spring musical, The Sound of Music, Engel replied humbly.

“There’s a lot of girls in our department who’d make fantastic leads,” she said. “Honestly, I’d be happy being a nun.”