Drama

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

— Thomas A. Edison

O’Dowd Student Finalist in Beach Blanket Babylon Competition

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Actor Profile – Chenli Yuan

1. List your background on stage and off.
BOD-How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Sugar, Almost Maine-Two Years of The Ohlone High School Theater Festival

2. What can you tell us about Matthew Shepard?
“He was a gay University of Wyoming student who got brutally killed. The play examines different attitudes of a small town and varying opinions about the homosexual lifestyle. Matthew’s tragic story definitely made a lot of people aware of the controversies surrounding homosexuality.”


3. Why do you think it’s important to do a play like The Laramie Project at this time at BOD?

“This year our school is looking at the issue of teenage bullying. Students at school are often bullied because of their sexual orientation. Seeing this play may change negative attitudes and behavior of students.”

4. Describe what it’s like to play multiple roles in this play
“It’s very challenging. In most plays, you portray one specific person. In The Laramie Project, I play four different people; all ages, with different voices, gestures, and viewpoints. It’s very interesting and fun.”

5. What is like to be a Drama Kid at BOD?
“I find the people in the drama department open minded and accepting. As an international student, I feel totally comfortable when I’m with my drama peers and teachers. All of the drama classes are a lot of fun. I really encourage other international students interested in acting to come and join us.”

Drama Department Competes in Ohlone

BOD drama Students performed at the 20th Annual Ohlone College High School Theater Festival over the weekend. Entries from Othello, Eurydice, Short Term 12, Gypsy and Rent made it into finals. Congratulations to Polina Goncharova who won a third place trophy for her Fantasy Make-Up from Alice In Wonderland, and Meredith McCleary, who won a second place acting award for her original comedic monologue. Schools from all over the state compete with approximately 900 drama students participating in the event.

For those wanting to see an encore performance of the talented drama students, don’t miss Rent and Gypsy, and other scenes, at the annual BOD Drama Oscars presented at 7:00 PM, May 21 in the theater.

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Students who participated included:

Madeline Allison, Isabelle Bales, Alice Beittel, Gaia Bostick, Emma Braden, Rod Brown, Zyhir Brown, Axel Cabato,
Will Campbell, Evan Ceremony, Troy Coaston, Michael Shawn Cunningham, Banna Esaias, Navah Evans,
Johanna Flashman, Polina Goncharova, Parker Halaburda, Alexa Hanson, Elena Hauser, Sean Hennigan, Ana Hurley, Savannah Johnson, Christian Jorgenson, Cassidy Kepp, Amasha Lyons-Clark, Belinda Magallon, Alessandra Marcone, Britney Marshall, Britney, Tanner Massoth, Hart Matejzcyk, Annie McAneny, Meredith McCleary, Janae McFadden, William Moseley, Maria Morrish, Nate Myers, Lois Nersessian, Julian Nesbit, Charley Nordin, Madeline Parsnick, Maya Payne-Shoemaker, Grace Piette, Erin Reilly, Shavonne Rogers, Ryan Seideman,
Emma Shilliday, Wanlin Shue, Mayreni Sweis, Eliana Tallardida, Iyanna Terrell, Mariah Texeira, Aliyah Turner, Chenli Yuan.

Actor Profile – Emma Shilladay

Actor Profile-Emma Shilliday

1. List your background on stage and off.
BOD Credits-The Miracle Worker, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Almost Maine, Sugar, Little Shop of Horrors.

2. What can you tell me about Matthew Shepard?
“From what I have learned, Matthew Shepard was a great person who was full of life and also really outgoing. He was an out gay student at the University of Wyoming.”

3. Why is it important to do a play like The Laramie Project at BOD?
“Over the summer, we read a book called Dear Bully. It set the tone for the theme of anti-bullying we’re focusing on this year. The Laramie Project is about a boy beaten to death because he was gay. This play is the perfect way for us to display how terrible bullying can be. ”

4. What’s it like to play multiple roles in a play?
“It’s quite interesting and very different from anything I’ve ever done before. I play two completely different characters. Rebecca Hillaker, head of the theater department at The University of Wyoming and Rulon Stacey, CEO of the hospital where Matthew Shepherd was admitted. ”

5. What’s it like to be a Drama Kid at BOD?
“It’s one of the most wonderful places to be and probably the best decision I made when I came to Bishop O’Dowd. I’ve enjoyed every show I’ve been in as well as participating in The Ohlone Theater Festival.”

Bishop O’Dowd High School Presents “Voices”

A Powerful, Award-Winning Student-Written Play, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. Cost: Free

I hate it. My throat burns, and my eyes tear up. My hands shake. But it’s all I’ve got. But it doesn’t matter. Nothing I do matters. Because no matter what I do, the voices that started it all will never, ever go away.”

This quote from an anguished bulimic teenage girl is just one of the intense and moving moments in the award-wining “Voices,” a gut-wrenchingly honest 15-minuteone-act play that tackles cyberbullying, gay-bashing, and the intense pressures on high school students that can lead to teen suicide.

“Voices” was developed in 2011 by Bishop O’Dowd High School drama teacher Trina Oliver and her students for the prestigious Ohlone College Theater Festival, an annual competition among more than 20 Bay Area High Schools. A collaborative effort with input from all the drama students, who shared their own stories, it was written and directed by Will McAneny, a senior, and Hayley Jackson, a junior.


“Voices” won Best One Act at the festival (the only original play in the category), and the two co-writer/directors received a special Judges Award. The play scored the most points of any performance in the festival’s history, and both audience members and judges were in tears watching it. When it was later performed at O’Dowd for the student body, parents and teachers, more tears flowed openly.

Now O’Dowd is mounting a new production of “Voices.” The play will be performed for the public in the O’Dowd Theater Feb. 11 at 7 p.m., with a “talk back” discussion afterward. There will be performances at school for the student body, as well. O’Dowd also hopes to take it on the road and perform it at other schools to raise awareness about the serious consequences of cyberbullying and intolerance.

“We titled it ‘Voices’ to represent the muffled voices of teenagers everywhere who are bullied and in pain,” said Jackson, now a sophomore at UC Santa Cruz. “Portraying suicide was not for shock value. It was to show that this really happens because of the little words we say to one another.”

The Laramie Project is Cast

After three days of auditions for the spring play, the BOD drama department announces the cast for The Laramie Project.

This story about Matthew Shepherd has an unusual format. The play requires a cast of 18 actors portraying 65 different people who were all interviewed after the tragic 1998 murder of the gay college student in Laramie, Wyoming.

Performance dates are May 2-May 11. Ticket order forms are available by going to the BOD Drama Page.

Cast List
Isabelle Bales, Carl Ballantine, Alice Beittel, Gia Bostick, Emma Braden, Evan Ceremony, Jo Flashman, Nate Gipson, Sean Hennigan, Chenli Huan, Fanya Imholz, Christian Jorgenson, Cormac Kelly, Cassidy Kepp, Maddie Parsnick, Emma Shilliday, Iyanna Terrell, and Shelley Valdez

Little Shop of Horrors a Hit!

By the sound of thunderous applause and a standing ovation from an enthusiastic opening night audience, Little Shop of Horrors is a definite hit! Tickets are still available for the final three performances Friday night, November 22nd, Saturday night, November 23rd, and Sunday afternoon, November 24th. Tickets can be purchased at the door one hour before show time or in advance using the ticket order form on the BOD drama page.

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Actor Profile – Jo “The Plant” Flashman

Role in Show-Plant Puppeteer

Past Stage Experience

Working, Fiddler on the Roof, The Miracle Worker, Almost Maine, Sugar, Ohlone Festival-How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying Maxi-Musical, Much Ado About Nothing Scene & Monologue

What are you most excited about by doing Little Shop?

“I’m excited about being the puppeteer of the plant and giving the plant lots of attitude. I also know it’s gonna be a real physical workout.”

What challenges are involved in playing your role?

“The biggest challenge with operating The Plant is the collaboration with The Voice of the plant, sung by Nathaniel Hancock-Harris. My movements and Nate’s voice have to be exactly in sync.”

What is life like as a drama student at Bishop O’Dowd?

“Everything I do revolves around the drama department depending on when I have rehearsal. I make my schedule around that. I’ve made a really good family within the drama community. In fact, theater has become most of my life and where most of my friends are.”

Actress Profile: Cassidy Kepp

Role in Show: Audrey

Past Stage Experience

“At Bishop O’Dowd I’ve been Tess inSix Degrees of Separation, Delores in Sugar and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof at The Ohlone Festival last year. I’ve also performed in community theater, including playing Charlotte Sowerberry in Oliver this past summer.”

What are you excited about by Little Shop of Horrors?

“Well, I love the show to begin with. It’s funny and kinda terrifying at the same time. I’m especially excited to be playing my very first leading role in a musical. Audrey is such a big and fun character. And romantic, too.”

What challenges are involved in playing your role?

“It’s easy to make Audrey cheesy and fake but that’s not who she is. Her naïve quality is difficult to capture. I hope I can portray her innocence truthfully. Even though she dresses provocativel,y she is not overly flirtatious. She’s just an innocent girl who wants to get out of skid row and have a better life.”

What is life like as a drama student at Bishop O’Dowd?

“In drama we’re a close-knit family because of all the time we spend together preparing for performances. Whether it’s Ohlone rehearsals, show rehearsals or drama class, we’re always supporting one another in one way or another. All this time together makes us the best of friends and my chosen family.”

Actor Profile – Nathaniel Hancock-Harris


Name Nathaniel Hancock-Harris

Role Voice of the Plant (Audrey Two)

Past Stage Experience
BOD 2012-Almost Maine-Lendall

What excites you about doing Little Shop of Horrors?

“Ever since I was a little kid watching Saturday morning cartoons, I’ve always thought it would be so cool if I could talk like one of the characters. Imagine the thrill of being the voice of Bugs Bunny! His sarcastic demeanor was classic. And now, in my senior year at O’Dowd, my dream has come true. I get to act the voice of the most deadly plant in Broadway history. How cool it that?”

What challenges are involved in playing your role?

“After six weeks of rehearsal I already have my challenges in front of me. In all of my songs I extend my vocal range from low to high and everything in between. Also, because I am off stage with a microphone for this role, it’s my job to carefully observe a large puppet closely so my voice and the plant’s movements on stage are in sync. Together we create an illusion.”

What is life as a drama student at Bishop O’Dowd?

Last fall, In Almost Maine, it was hard to adjust being the new kid in drama, and in a smaller show. After a while the cast became a close family with everyone supporting each other. With Little Shop of Horrors, the experience is better because it has a large cast so more creative energy is shared in rehearsal. The BOD drama department has taught me to be who I am without apology. That’s definitely something I will take way from my high school experience.”

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert is yet another look at society, in this case big business of the 1960's. A satirical musical comedy with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, this popular, often revived show follows the comic pursuits of one eager man's unconventional rise to the top of the business world. The show made stars out of Robert Morse in the original, Matthew Broderick in 1994, and currently stars Daniel Radcliffe in the latest Broadway revival.

Performances begin April 27 and conclude May 13.

 

 

Adam Gildea

Shows performed at BOD

Sweeney Todd, Working, Fiddler On The Roof

What are your favorite roles?

"Some of my best experiences in drama came during the spring semester of my junior year. I was cast in two large roles; Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof, and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet for The Ohlone Competition. I was thrilled but nervous performing a monologue from the famous balcony scene. Both of these roles forced me to step outside my comfort zone. They were challenging but the experiences were very rewarding.”

What elements of the BOD charism do you find in Six Degrees of Separation?

"One of our charisms is social justice. This issue is prevalent throughout the play. For instance, I play a Mormon who, with his wife, come to New York City to pursue acting careers. We meet the character of Paul, a supposedly homeless man. In an attempt to help him, we offer him friendship as well as money and a place to stay.”

How would you describe life as a Bishop O’Dowd Drama kid?

"The drama department is a very tight-knit group. Doing shows and taking classes allowed me to connect with many different people from all grade levels. These are students I might not have met otherwise. Looking back at the past three years, I would have to say a lot of my closest friends I met in our drama department.”

Hayley Jackson

Productions at BOD

Godspell, Once Upon a Mattress, Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

What are some of your favorite roles?

“Annie Sullivan is the most significant and challenging role I’ve dealt with. It’s demanding a lot from inside me. I’m finding the deeper we get into rehearsals, the more I’m beginning to feel like Annie. Being in the chorus of Sweeney Todd was also a highlight of my Bishop O’Dowd theater career. I’ve always been comfortable playing exaggerated and physical characters in the classroom, so it was a dream come true to twist and contort my body and face as a menacing ensemble member of 19th century London.”

How does the BOD charism relate to The Miracle Worker?

“The Miracle Worker displays a tremendous reflection of inner-strength: the strength to overcome seemingly unbeatable handicaps, the strength to love someone regardless of those handicaps, the strength to work to change the life of another. The play also embodies social justice because in order for the miracle of teaching a difficult student can happen, there has to be a give and take that occurs between the teacher and that student. My character cannot simply just do her job and teach Helen Keller words. She must first truly understand Helen. It’s the concept of working with rather than working for.”

Describe life as a BOD Drama Kid.

“Spending fourteen hour weekends rehearsing The Ohlone Competition or the daily three hour period of rehearsals in the theater does something unique to a drama kid. It unites us all in a way other activities may not. It’s a very emotional experience making yourself vulnerable to criticism. We all go through the experience together. I feel the work we put in is often underestimated and misunderstood by other students. I will always have a common connection with the theater students, several of whom are my best friends and I’m sure will remain lifelong friends.”

Unity Act - Night Rally - Cinderella - A 2 Part Playlist

This was a phenomenal finale to Night Rally festivities. It's a fractured fairytale about a modern day Cinderella, and really reflects the talent of the O'Dowd drama department.

Ticket Order Form

   

Order your tickets for "The Laramie Project". Download and fill out the order form.

Drama Teacher Profile

   

Profile of Drama Teacher Dennis Kolhes


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Finding God in All Things

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