The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

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The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

The Word

The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

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The 7 Week Theater Scare

Theater Department Opening Weekend Sept. 28-30th
Nikhitha Nimma
The stagehands act as the mantlepiece during The Play that Goes Wrong, on September 25th, 2023.

Typically, the rehearsal period for a VRHS fall show production would last around 8 to 10 weeks. This time, it was different. Vista Ridge Drama’s production of The Play that Goes Wrong only had 7 weeks to rehearse, block and figure out the tech. 

“I one hundred percent think that with the shortened rehearsal time it made an already difficult show that much more challenging,” said junior Chanse Solis, the makeup head, and the actor for Trevor. “I definitely would rather have a longer period to allow for personal and character growth.”

The Play that Goes Wrong is a show about a local theater that puts on, “The Murder at Haversham Manor” and guess what, it goes wrong. Originally written in 2012 by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, the show won Best New Comedy at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards. Announced in the 2023 VRHS Theater Banquet, Vista Ridge would be putting on the High School edition of the show as their fall show. 

“From the perspective of an actor, the show is not necessarily more difficult for me, it’s just new,” junior Shreyas Gupta, an actor for one of the stagehands said. “There are so many experiences that we have that we might not have had in shows in the past. In the past we had more time to memorize, we had more time to work on blocking on the stage, we had more time to practice and flush things out. For this show, a lot of that happens on your own time. It definitely seems daunting at first, but as time goes on you learn to adapt and work within the confines of our time limit.” 

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Juggling both makeup head and playing one of the main characters is also difficult. 

“With the shortened rehearsal time, it made me feel like I wasn’t able to fully develop my character to the best of my ability,” Solis said. “Either way with the particular character I play, it would be just as difficult even with a longer time period, as my character is quite confusing and complex.” 

The hardest part of acting is finding your character and making it believable for an audience. For some people, their character is just an extension of themselves, and for others, it is a completely different person, and the amount of time it takes is different for everyone. But the actors weren’t the only ones affected by the rehearsal time, the tech side of the show dealt with their own issues. 

“The shortened time we have to do things has really only affected my stress and the stress of my crew. With shorter windows to do things, problems become scarier,” said junior Sutton Dugan, the light head. “But while stress was high, it turned out perfect. Everything that needed to get done got done and we didn’t just have a bunch of random free time.”

All parts of tech were affected in a similar way. 

“We have had plenty of time to design and set up everything with a lot of room to fix errors,” senior Torin Crowly, the set head said. “It could be improved, but another few weeks wouldn’t have done much.”

Regardless of how ready everyone was, the show must go on. The first public showing was on Thursday, September 28th. There was an air of anticipation around the auditorium. Tension was high. One of the doors on set had broken 30 minutes before the show, and the set crew had to rush to fix it.

“It was definitely a stressful moment,” Crowley noted, “But we got it fixed.”

And after a night full of laughter and applause, spirits were lifted. The show went really well, the audience was laughing, applauding, and having a great time. The things that went wrong went wrong, no tech issues arose, and no lines were forgotten (that weren’t supposed to be.)

“It was super funny, I really liked it,” sophomore Rebecca Chang said.  “Especially Chanse’s character, he was super funny.” 

All the nervousness and tension before the show ended was quickly alleviated. 

“I think that having the first show go so well really boosts your confidence,” Said Gupta. “It only elevates all the shows that are coming up.”

As for the tech side of the performance, everything went perfectly.

“I think that we’re a lot more comfortable after that show,” said Crowley, while double-checking the door that broke right before the show. ”It went super well.” 


The Play that Goes Wrong has 3 more performances to go (Friday, September 29th at 7pm and Saturday, September 30th at 3pm, 7pm), and they are sure to go wrong (on purpose). Tickets are only 10 dollars, so make sure to come out and support VRHS Drama if you can.


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About the Contributor
Nick Chang, Staff Reporter
Nick Chang is a senior and is excited to be a part of News Media this year. This is his second year working with VRHS News Media. Nick is also a part of Vista’s Theater and an active member of Drama Club. Outside of school, Nick enjoys writing, reading, video games, and going hiking. Nick can't wait to share the school's stories with the world.

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