Curtains rises at NDP

Notre Dame Prep puts on its annual musical

By Erin Nemivant, Special to The Seraphim

SCOTTSDALE — Since the favorable and crowd-pleasing musical, Sound of Music, in 2017, the Notre Dame Prep community is anxious for what the 2018 play, Curtains, has to offer. This is the first time operating under the busy world of show business for the director, Mrs. Bonnie Wilson.

Out of the 14 years that Wilson has been a part of drama at NDP, her enthusiasm for the “new musical of the old west,” as Wilson described, never ceases to fade.

She exemplifies a love for theater when she stated, “If you’ve never seen live theater, you have never experienced the excitement of live storytelling.”

Unlike Les Miserables or Sound of Music, Curtains is a lesser known and performed musical across the state of Arizona. NDP was the first high school in Arizona to debut this dramatic, yet humorous show in 2010, and it debuted March 2 and 3 to rave reviews with more showings this weekend, March 9-10, in the school caferteria. Curtains is a murder mystery, in which the detective must discover who killed the leading lady on opening night. Its humor contributes to the “show within a show” when the theater-loving detective simultaneously tries to fix the production and solve the case.

There are many actors in the cast from the multiple leads to the ensemble. Playing the victim, Jessica Cranshaw, is senior Sarah Ziemann.

While channeling her “inner diva” as her first role in a musical at NDP, Ziemann said, “I have always wanted to be in a musical at NDP, so I’m super excited to be a part of Curtains. Mrs. Wilson and all of her supporting staff have been so welcoming and willing to work with me. The cast and crew are also very fun and supportive.”

The actors and actresses have been working hard over the past couple months to prepare for Curtains. Something that will probably stand out this year is the dancing. The leads, combined with the chorus, will provide a lively and enjoyable experience to the audience.

Undoubtedly, “the leads are great, providing the musical with a life of its own,” Wilson stated. “However, the chorus is one of the most important parts of the show; they do the heavy lifting, literally.”

Some of the male actors have to lift some of the girls in the show, including Ziemann. The athletic ability required to put on this musical is unquestionable. Jessica Egan, who is part of the ensemble, plays a dancer by the name, Mona Page. The rehearsals are demanding for these dancers.

Egan stated, “We dance every single day, three hours a day. It’s very hard. [The play] is fun because everyone is there because they want to be there, so it is fun to dance with people who actually enjoy it.”

Not even Wilson can deny that. The dancers are working hard every day, emphasizing a physical and mental skill required for Curtains.

Wilson explained, “The actors have been working both physically and mentally. This is an athletic skill as well as an artistic one and there’s no reason why a person couldn’t do both and do it well.”

Not only are the actors working hard, so are the people who are working behind the scenes, from stage managers to the director, Wilson. The crew has to make sure every last thing is working perfectly. This means that lights must be working, costumes must fit the actors and be ready for costume changes, and every scene must be set up quickly throughout the show.

The excitement for the upcoming play is undeniable. Many students are expecting the best because of the great production from past musicals.

Senior Natalie Zarasian said, “The amount of hard work that I know is put into every musical is incredible, so to see the great shows and all the work put into it from the singing to the dancing is really cool to see.”

For many of the seniors, it will be a bittersweet moment to perform their last musical, and it will be the same for the students in the audience. For Zarasian, attending every NDP play since she was 5-years-old will make it just as, possibly even more, emotional.

Zarasian added, “Watching every production put on by the students has been one of my favorite parts of being an NDP student, so it will be a great ending.”

From Wilson to Egan to Ziemann, all exclaim, “Come see the show!”

Wilson’s passion for musicals, in particular, became very evident from her enthusiastic hand gestures to the love of drama in her voice.

Wilson sums up Curtains thusly: “Musical theater is a different experience than anything else. You watch a drama, and yes, you get emotionally involved, but sometimes words are not enough. So, music comes into it because it affects you and that’s a different experience.”