It is no secret that Mercy prides itself on an incredibly strong and successful theatre program. Each year, the department puts on amazing fall plays and spring musicals, but that’s not all. Mercy’s Actor’s Workshop course is a semester-long class in which the girls rehearse a musical to perform at the end of their studies. This year, the class presented the delightfully whimsical The Wizard of Oz.
The class does not waste any time in casting roles and rehearsing the show. As soon as roles are cast, the remainder of the semester is dedicated to memorizing lines, making the set, finding and preparing costumes, and rehearsing the show. Then, as the semester draws to a close, it is time for the class to get on stage and showcase what they have been working on.
Senior Emma Pickett is a passionate performer who has been seen on the Mercy stage ever since her freshman year. She is actively involved in the theatre community and does whatever she can to get on stage.
This year, Pickett took Actor’s Workshop because it is one of the few performing arts classes she hasn’t already taken. Pickett was cast as the Wicked Witch, which is consistent with the type of roles she has played at Mercy in the past. Formally seen as Lucy in Charlie Brown and the evil nanny in Mary Poppins, Pickett does a phenomenal job portraying the antagonist characters.
“[Just] like every evil role I have played, as soon as I tried [the witch] out I loved it,” said Pickett. “It’s so fun.”
Pickett most enjoyed performing for the children at her former middle school, St. Fabian. The reactions of the kids and the energetic atmosphere made this performance very memorable for Pickett.
“The comments that we got from the kids that day were so funny,” said Pickett. “They loved it and it was so cool hearing their reactions and then cracking up backstage at the things they were saying.”
Junior Emily Caslou was a member of the ensemble this year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Casalou decided to take the class because although she would love to participate in the fall plays and spring musicals, she does not have the time. Actor’s Workshop allowed her to still be a part of the theatre community and perform as a Mercy student in a Mercy production. The class is a great option for girls like Casalou who want to get involved but don’t have the time for a bigger production.
“No matter how big or how small your part is, you feel important,” said Casalou. “You get the experience of being in a high school play even if you can’t be in the fall play.”