When Megan Rodgers decided to let seventh- and eighth-graders join Brookfield Drama Club this year, she figured it would allow them to get acclimated to theater and learn from the older students.
The middle school students had other ideas.
“There were a few middle schoolers who really stood out in auditions, and we wanted them in the play,” said Rodgers, the club adviser and director of “Villain School,” which the club will present at 7 p.m. March 23 and 24 in the school auditorium. Admission is $5 at the door.
Abigail Hill is one of the middle school students who impressed, but she said she is learning from the older students, whom she described as “pretty cool.”
“They’re nice to be around and look like they know what they’re doing,” Abigail said.
Abigail plays a witch in “Villain School,” a play that, despite having a large cast of 23, manages to find ways for each character to stand out, she said.
“I like how everyone’s different,” Abigail said. “They sound and they look different.”
Senior Alexis Gallagher, who plays the witch Netty, described Brian D. Taylor’s play this way: “It’s
about a school for villains, where love is outlawed but two break the rules.”
Frank Stein, the leather-jacketed new kid in school, and Heidi Jekyll go on a date, landing them in hot water with school administrators and her parents.
“It’s relatable, with school and the new kid coming
in,” said junior Chloe Blackshear, who plays Heidi and described her character as “the queen bee of the school.” “It’s a love story. You get all this in one.”
The last two plays the club did were more like fairy tales, said Rodgers, who teaches seventh-grade math and science.
“This one is a little more real – as real as you can get with Sasquatch and a mummy,” she said.
“It’s based on all the bad guys you’d hear from any other story,” said senior Tyler Comninos, who plays the mummy.
Those bad guys include Quasimodo, a werewolf and a girl named Sadie Backstabber.
Comninos has been with the club for the three years since it was resurrected.
“I’ve always been into drama,” he said, noting he was a fan of “Glee” and “High School Musical.” “Originally, I signed up to do stage crew, and I got talked into acting.”
Tyler said he wants to major in education in college, but might minor in theater and could imagine himself directing a high school play someday.
“I like the fun of entertaining people,” Tyler said. “It can be stressful, but, at the end, you sit back
and say, ‘We did that.’”
The club has brought together a bunch of students who wouldn’t ordinarily socialize, said junior Donnie Davis, who plays Frank.
“Now, we hang out outside of school,” he said.
That enhanced level of interaction builds into the trust that is so important for actors, Donnie said.
“All of the camaraderie we have at home helps us on the stage,” he said.
Junior Dionte Colwell said he tried out for the play because he wanted to get outside of his comfort zone.
“I’m more of an athlete,” said Dionte, who plays football, wrestles and runs track.
His athletic pursuits have meant he has had to miss some rehearsals.
“It’s more nerve-wracking because I have less time than everyone else, but it’s still fun,” said Dionte, who plays Sharkey. “We’re having a good time.”