Lots of senior drama this year at LP. But the good kind.

Kayla De Veyra, Staff Writer

Lake Park theatre: where students can come to show off their talent of singing, dancing, and acting.

The theatre department produces a total of seven plays throughout a school year and auditions are open to all students.

This year’s spring musical grease included many seniors. The play sold out all four nights. Seniors such as Antoinette Ricchio and Jimmy Romano played important characters not only in the latest musical but also in previous plays.

Theatre allows students not only to be able to meet and learn from their peers, especially from upperclassmen.

“Seniors, as crazy and hilarious as they can be, are the role models of the department. Each and every one of them steps up to the plate to lead us to success in our shows. Every senior does a perfect job of making all underclassmen feel welcome in the theater department. I’ll miss them, but I can’t wait to do the same next year,” said junior Giuliano Catalano.

Catalano, who has been in eight shows since freshman year, has worked with seniors in many plays including Grease in which he played Danny Zuko.

Theatre is a fairly time consuming activity but many seniors have dedicated much of their high school career to perfecting their roles and learning their lines.

“Theatre has greatly impacted my career at Lake Park. It taught me how to be more social with people and taught me to not be afraid of class presentations or speaking in front of people. It also, was a great way to manage my time outside of school,” said senior Jimmy Romano.

Romano got involved with acting at the young age of seven when he saw Grease at the theatre company Schaumburg on Stage. Years later, on his last year of high school, Romano played Kenickie at Lake Park’s very own Grease thus fulfilling his dream of standing on top of a car while singing Greased Lightning.

Theatre is something many students decide they want to do early in their high school career.

“I knew going into high school that I wanted to be involved in theater as I already had been for several years prior. The drama students my freshman year were so talented and welcoming, and the directors couldn’t be more encouraging about getting involved, so I felt really good about it,” said senior Antoinette Ricchio.

Like Romano, Ricchio started getting involved with acting at a young age. When she was eight, she played a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz and took part in the community theatre company, Schaumburg on Stage. She also volunteered for plays and was able to work with actors with Down Syndrome. Last summer, she lived in New York for a month and studied at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

“At Lake Park, I’ve performed in four musicals, two straight plays, two seasons of group interpretation and one contest play season (in which we won sectionals and got to compete at state!),” said Ricchio.

Acting takes a lot out of a person’s schedule but even so, many students are still able to find a way to keep up with their grades.

“I was involved in a community theatre group called Schaumburg on Stage and some of our shows were performed for schools during regular school hours,” said Romano. “But, Lake park Theatre always put school first and never really interfered as much.”

Many seniors that were part of theatre such as Jimmy and Antoinette plan on incorporating acting into their futures.

“This fall I will be studying at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts with a major in Musical Theatre,” said Romano.

Lake Park has continued to help students pursue their careers and this has definitely applied to students who took or are taking part in theatre.

“I have never been more confident in pursuing my passion. I will be attending the University of Southern California this fall as an acting major in their School of Dramatic Arts! They are highly selective and only accept 100 actors, so I am ecstatic,” said Ricchio.

Lake Park gives students the chance to try out what their interested in and help them decide what they want to apply to their futures. Theater lets students apply their talents to a stage whether it’s just for fun or if it’s practice for their careers.

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