Class IV Actors Shine in The Three Musketeers
by Tara Sharma on Friday, December 7th, 2012
As we crammed in our final history essays and math tests before Thanksgiving break, the newest budding actors and actresses of Milton Academy took the stage of King for the first time in their high school career, awing the audience in their production of The Three Musketeers. The evenings of November 15th, 16th and 17th brought parents, teachers and many students to come watch the young members of the upper school in seat-gripping, sword fighting scenes to touching tales of romantic rendezvous. This complex, action-packed play, adapted by Peter Raby from Alexandre Damas’ beloved classic, reflected the dedication of the Class of 2016.
Taking place in 17th century Paris, this play follows the adventures of the D’Artagnan, played by Sam Rochelle (IV), whose hopes to become a musketeer like his father allow him to band with the three musketeers: Athos (Mack Makishima, IV), Aramis (Tara Sharma, IV) and Porthos (Alex Gistis, IV). As the unrelentingly loyal musketeers strive to stop the Cardinal from forming an alliance with England, they travel through France in a hustle of exhilarating sword fights and surprising encounters with both enemies and lovers. Blinded by his money and the arrogance of youthful hopes, D’Artagnan falls in love with the innocent Constance Bonacieux, played by Juliana Rogoff (IV) and the deceiving, wicked Milady de Winter, played by Grace Stanfield (IV). Filled with violence, hunger for money, romance, and fierce politics, The Three Musketeers’ action-packed and busy plot line did not fail to entice, exhilarate—and thoroughly confuse—the audience.
September brought an assortment of ninth graders with diverse interests, talents, and abilities; many students utilized the freshman play as a chance to develop their own skills and as an outlet to make friends in the bustling and chaotic world of the upper school. The freshman play, a long-lasting and treasured tradition, has always remained all-inclusive, encouraging all participants no matter their previous acting experience.
With an original cast of about 28 students, the play, directed by Robert St. Laurence, was no simple production; it included 41 scenes, 80 characters, and 15 fight scenes. While others participated in fall sports, the cast rehearsed daily for about two months, learning complex sword fights and blocking, as unpredicted friendships blossomed along the way. “This play gave me the opportunity to create so many unexpected and strong friendships with people I would not see otherwise during the day,” said Grace Stanfield (IV).
This year, all freshmen were required to contribute some part of their efforts in the play, whether it be advertising, handing out brochures, or helping out backstage. The production crew included 35 members who helped with makeup and costumes and ensured that the show ran smoothly. Many other students became walk-ons during production week, serving as the Cardinal’s guards, musketeers, and townspeople. And finally, nearly the entire class of 2016 came on Friday night to support their fellow actors and actresses on stage.
Perhaps surprisingly, Friday night’s performance drew students from all grades, resulting in a sold-out house. Despite the confusing and complex nature of the play’s plotline, many felt that this production was one of the best Class IV plays in recent memory. Audience members were left dazzled by the flips and precise choreography of the fight scenes; the detailed, authentic costumes, complete with feathered hats and lace-up corsets, immediately transported the audience to the bustling streets of Paris. And as the newest members of the upper school bowed onstage at the end of the show to a well-deserved round of applause, it was clear that the future of Milton’s theatre program would be in good hands.
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