AT Theatre hosts thrilling fall show

AT Theatre hosted the annual Fall show last Oct. 20-22, Trap, a thriller holding the audience to the edges of their seats.

Theatre director Anna McSweeney wanted to choose a show that would work in an online or in-person setting in case the school reverted to its online format and an in-person show was no longer feasible. Designer Alex Holod, McSweeney, senior John Pinns, math teacher Andy Mitchell, and music teacher Rebecca Boisse worked together to design and organize the show together.

Trap takes place at a high school theatre in Menchop, California, where every individual in the audience falls unconscious except for one student. The play follows the structure of a mystery, following witnesses and key people who have information. While the play is classified as a docu-drama, the play is most known for the audience interaction it incorporates into its execution.

Theatre Board co-president Antonio Bruno said the audience best received the play’s ending.

“I think the audience most enjoyed the ending of the play. At the end, the ‘pharanochs’ that caused 241 people to fall unconscious at a high school play in Menchop, CA, attacked our very theatre. We had people fall unconscious after an actor says the cue phrase, ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ into their ears. We used red LED glasses to separate the ‘pharanochs’ from the humans, and we lit up the entire audience with the lights,” said Bruno. 

The cast and crew worked every night until 10 pm in preparation for Thursday’s opening night. While the work was rigorous, theatre members described joy in the time they spent together.

Senior cast member Dylan Hernandez whispers to senior Fernando Padua during the play’s first reading.

“I really enjoyed the experience because at first, I was unsure of even auditioning because I was ready to solely work with the crew, but the commitment was well worth it. The efforts really paid off in the end,” said senior cast and crew member Fernando Padua.

Crew member Sofia Angiulo decided to join theatre for the first time this year and describes her joy for it. 

“I enjoyed being able to do something new with my friends and have the chance to be backstage during the show,” said Angiulo.

Senior Ruben Ramirez, a member of Trap’s production team, noted the difference between the fall play this year in contrast to previous plays as well as some of the struggles with this year’s fall play.

“I think one of the biggest struggles with the production was in re-immersing everyone back into theatre and the normal routine,” said Ramirez.

Sophomore production member Josephine Ficarra agreed. “The hardest part of being in Trap was becoming a part of theatre again after Covid, but I loved seeing all our efforts and hard work come together onstage.”

Part of the Trap cast poses on set for a photo.

McSweeney agreed that the ongoing pandemic played almost no interference with the play.

“Aside from masks, there were really no differences in our production of the play, and our students were responsible with the masks. Covid did not really affect us,” she said.

In total, the play sold 744 tickets, 300 of these sold to students, and the remaining to paying adults. This year, the tickets were free for all AT students and sold at the full price of $5 for any outside guests.

Junior Rida Ahmed was one of 744 to attend the play. 

“It’s not like a normal theatre experience, so it really felt like I was part of it. There were a lot of outside factors, and although the end of the play was confusing, I really enjoyed the audience interaction,” said Ahmed.

AT Theatre looks forward to putting on more productions.

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