By Kendall Howze
Every year after the winter and spring play, Glenelg High School has several Dessert Theater productions. There is a different show for each advanced class (periods 4A, 4, and 6th) featuring different comedy sketches.
Some of the skits are student created, and many are taken from various television shows or Youtube sketches. Admission is $5, and during intermission there are free desserts provided by students.
While each show may seem to run smoothly, the actors themselves may not always think so. Preparation for their show begins in January after midterms. On the day of their midterm, each person brings in a scene to read for the show. The read through of scenes takes anywhere between a few days to a week and a half. Before scenes are selected, the class elects student leaders to be in charge of casting scenes, and the class’ MCs for the night. Senior Chris Patchan said, “Student leaders are really helpful with all of the organizational things because [our teacher] doesn’t really plan this, it’s supposed to be student-run.” Student leadership is heavily enforced and encouraged throughout the production. In addition to learning acting skills and techniques, leadership skills are a large focus of the program.
The class then goes into several rotations of rehearsal, as each student is generally casted in three to five scenes. However, the students still have their regular theater assignments. The months between January and April can be hectic, as the spring show also falls between this period. This year in particular was tricky, as there was a third, smaller play directed by Senior Emily Soeken that was performed the week before dessert theater.
Generally, classes never get to run through the entire show until the day of the production, as there are no after school rehearsals and the shows tend to be around two hours long. This makes the week leading up to dessert theater particularly stressful, especially for the MCs. The only time the MCs are able to practice all of their bits and introductions is the day of the show. Senior Imani Nokuri says, “Yeah, I’ve been an MC twice and it can be very stressful because you don’t really have that much time to practice in class.” The day of the show, actors stay at school and rehearse from the end of school to the show itself. Though there are multiple days to attend Dessert Theater, each class only has one chance to perform it. This can be both exciting and stressful, as their first performance is also their last performance for the year.
To wrap up the show, each senior is given an award. They walk onto the stage, state how long they’ve been in theater, and announce their plans for the future. After each senior has been given their award, they exit stage right for their last time. It is a heartwarming sentiment, as seniors are being commemorated for their last performance in their Glenelg career.
Though the show may seem effortless and seamless, a lot of work, preparation, and occasional stress goes into the production. Each member of the class has to be dedicated to doing their part, as the show is essentially student run. Nonetheless, each show is a success every year.