Building on a Legacy

One Act Prepares for This Year’s Upcoming Production
Maya Huber (24) and Roxy Lightle (26) rehearse for the upcoming production, By the Bog of Cats, in the theater.
Maya Huber (24) and Roxy Lightle (26) rehearse for the upcoming production, “By the Bog of Cats,” in the theater.
Mary Jane Kushiner

The theater wasn’t as full as it was every other night when Brooke Berube left rehearsal. In fact, a good chunk of the group was missing. Hours earlier, when the clock struck eight, nearly half the crew took their things and left. However, it wasn’t unexpected since several students had a conflict in their schedule: show choir.
Red-faced and covered in sweat, the remaining leads covered for the double-booked actors and became the epitome of “the show must go on.”
“They were running all over the stage,” Berube said. “They were filling in for a million different parts. And it was so chaotic, but it was probably one of the most fun nights I’d had in a really long time.”
Despite insane rehearsals like this, GHS’s production of “Stone Creek Sorrow” last year marked the first performance since 2009 where Gretna was not named State Champion. One Act’s director, Ms. Berube, will lead the group for the second time in her career, with her foremost goal being to continue the past productions’ legacy by taking back the state title.
The selected drama, “By the Bog of Cats” by Marina Carr, is an Irish dark-comedy that follows Hester Swane, an outspoken woman who lives on the Bog of Cats. Swane is determined to defy her community and remain in the Bog with her daughter, Josie Swane.
“It is kind of a spooky show that has to do with a woman who has a curse placed on her,” said Berube. “And she is trying to basically figure out how to escape that curse while also dealing with some abandonment and betrayal issues.”
Gretna lost many talented performers to the district’s new addition, Gretna East High, this school year. However, there were still nearly 60 students in attendance at the initial auditions.
Senior Maya Huber will play the lead role, Hester Swane, and will act alongside sophomore Roxy Lightle, who will play Hester’s daughter. Despite this year being the first year she has been involved in One Act, Lightle received a main role in the production, as well as Senior Kate Wegner, who will act as Mrs. “Granny” Kilbride.
“I was very nervous,” said Lightle. “There were so many older kids who had been doing One Act for years, and I was there, I was the newbie, and, honestly, I had no hopes whatsoever.”
Berube credits much of the program’s consistent success to her assistant-directors and team. The directing team is made up of her assistant, Stephanie Davis, the creative designer, Erin Pollard, and Michael Moore, an art teacher at GHS.
“Our sets are beautifully and intricately designed by Mr. Moore,” said Berube. “And he makes the most beautiful sets I’ve ever seen. And without him, we would not be half as good as we are.”
Gretna’s “By the Bog of Cats” will first be performed in mid-November, with districts and state coming later in the semester. Between the talent of this year’s cast and the dedicated leadership within the group, this production is bound for great things.

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