Fall play cast promotes Shakespeare, inclusivity

Thespians are working to build an inclusive acting community at the high school. Souderton theater performed “Romeo and Juliet” and “Twelfth Night” on November 11-13.


Brian Wu

Acting for an audience…Embracing their roles, juniors Cayden Johnson (left) and Jackson Rohrbaugh read a letter during the fall play production of “Twelfth Night.” The pair played Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch.

Senior cast members worked to create a family environment among the cast, leading Souderton theater to put on successful productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Twelfth Night” by Willam Shakespeare on November 11-13.
“Romeo and Juliet” is a tragedy which tells the story of lovers Romeo and Juliet from rival families.
“Twelfth Night” is a romantic comedy which follows shipwrecked twins Viola and Sebastian and all the complications they cause.
The play also involves love triangles and gender swapping.
According to senior Ally Lemon, [‘Twelfth Night’] is full of laughs, lies and mistakes and pranks. It is just so funny.”
The two plays took months of hard work and dedication to put together and make successful.
Director Lori Maxwell described the theater like a “football team.”
“It takes a team to make things happen,” Maxwell said. “The students, adults, administration, parents/guardians, custodial staff and the audience all have to buy in to make it a success.”
Senior Brooke Bechtel said that part of what keeps the productions running smoothly is a consistent positive attitude because without it, the quality of the play goes down.
“The dynamic goes down, the acting goes down, the line memorization goes down,” Bechtel said. “If you keep the spirits high,
everything is beautiful.”
Seniors Joey Beck and Felicia Cappiello, along with Bechtel and Lemon, all work hard to make the theater community as welcoming and inclusive as possible for all participants.
Lemon said that she makes every effort to try to speak to the underclassman and learn their names.
According to Lemon, when she was younger, the seniors always made her feel “included” so she tries to do the same.
“Every part, even if it’s small, deserves to be cheered on and deserves to be told that they’re doing a good job,” Lemon said.
According to Cappiello, building up the community is as simple as being kind to everyone on stage.
Bechtel said the seniors need to try and “even out” the community with positivity and constructive criticism of each other and the underclassmen.
Junior Cayden Johnson thinks that it is also extremely important to make sure every cast member is getting involved.
The work that the seniors put into making the cast environment positive has paid off.
Junior Zach Gross has been a part of both the play and musical productions since his freshman year.
“The best part [of the play] is hanging out with friends and just being in a positive environment where we can try new things,” Gross said.

Beck said that his favorite part of participating in the play is being able to spend time with people who all love the theater as much as him.
Beck believes that the students’ appreciation for the play and theater has grown since COVID-19 and the process of the play has become more enjoyable.
“Now I know more people and we aren’t taking it for granted as much as we used to because anything can happen,” Beck said.