Prep-Villa theater is back for the new school year. The first musical scheduled is Oklahoma. This romance-filled western is being shown Nov. 11-14 at the H. David Bowes Auditorium on the Cathedral Prep campus.
The rest of the schedule includes an upperclassman play called Arsenic and Old Lace in the fall, Jesus Christ Superstar in the spring, and an underclassman show that is yet to be determined. Auditions took place Sept. 7 and 8 for their upcoming fall performances, and practice for Oklahoma started Sept. 20.
After two theater seasons gravely affected by COVID-19, the students and directors are excited to get back on stage and pursue their passion once more. Director of Theater Arts Father Mike DeMartinis said he is hoping for a fairly normal year with a full schedule of shows.
“The first show I was ever in was in 6th grade,” Father Mike said. “After that, I did several more then took a very long break from theater. I got back into it when I was in my late 20s and have never stopped since. I started the Prep theater program back in 2005 and have been directing it for going on 17 years. I took over the Villa program and merged the two together in 2009-2010. I love it. It’s not a matter of whether or not to do theater. It’s literally a matter of ‘I have to do it.’ It’s part of who I am.”
Senior and actress Gabriella Ottavio has been involved in the theater program her entire time at Villa. She takes her roles seriously and uses theater to practice her incredible leadership skills. This season she will be an assistant director, a stage manager, and playing the role of Sylvia in Oklahoma.
“I love how close we are as a department,” Gabriella Ottavio said. “It’s like a family. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.”
She is especially excited for Jesus Christ Superstar since COVID-19 canceled it two years ago. The entire theater program is excited to embrace the sisterhood and brotherhood that they missed out on.
Junior Henry Abercrombie also enjoys performing, and he is very excited about Arsenic and Old Lace. In Oklahoma, he will be playing Jud Fry, who is essentially the antagonist of the show.
“My favorite part of Prep-Villa theater would have to be the first night of the show and the cast party afterward,” Henry said. “It’s a lot of fun to actually put into practice the unique persona of your character, and I really enjoy the creative liberty we have with our characters.”
Motivation, commitment, and innovation are all skills that are practiced by Father Mike in his productions. As he teaches others these skills, he is not creating a story just for the audience, but a story of memories to be cherished in the lives of the student actors.
If you are interested in Prep-Villa theater or have any questions, please contact Fr. Mike DeMartinis via email at Mike.DeMartinis@prep-villa.com.