FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
Q: How easy is it for new students to get involved in theater?
"Easy! I ended up joining the afternoon theater option fall of my freshman year. It was the best decision I could've made, because I found a passion for theater and immediately had a lot of friends in all different grades. But some other freshmen I know started by taking Acting 1 in the fall of freshman year, and they loved that class. We've also got people who are on stage with us now who just followed their friends to "tech drop in hours." People are really excited to welcome new kids in."
Q: Besides working on shows, what does Mainstage do?
"We travel! We try to get out into the community to see as much theater as we can. Every fall, we travel to Norfolk Virginia to participate in the state-wide high school theater conference, VTA. We get to see a lot of amazing schools from all across the state and we perform one of our fall plays. At VTA, there are also workshops, master classes, and college auditions. In February, we head into D.C. for the Folger Shakespeare Library Secondary School Shakespeare Festival for a day of performing and celebrating Shakespeare. This summer, we're traveling as far as Scotland to participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.. The school makes tickets to dance, music, and theater available in Washington D.C. a few weekends every month. I feel really lucky to be able to just hop on a bus and see a professional show for free on a Friday night!"
Q: What kind of plays do you do?
"Each year we do one play by
Shakespeare and one Musical in the winter, but each year they feel really different. We've also done improvisation, non-western plays, experimental theater, modern classics, Greek tragedies... okay, so basically everything, with an emphasis on classical theater after school, and modern plays in class. The only thing we never really do are cheesy "plays 4 teenz" but I'm okay with that!"
Q: If I want to play a sport, can I also be in a play?
"My main sport is crew, which takes up a lot of my time in the spring. Since the afternoon productions are as big a commitment as a sport, I always sign up for an acting class when I can't be in the MainStage show. The acting classes work on a series of short, pop-up productions that can happen on weekends or weeknights throughout the year. We find a time when no one has a game or other school event, and announce at lunch that there's going to be a play that evening. The Black Box always fills up, even on short notice, and everyone in the community really supports the kids on stage in the plays. I love being able to participate in my favorite sport without giving up theater." -Ashford
Q: Do freshmen and new sophomores ever get leading roles?
YES! I was so surprised to get a leading role in the musical as a freshman, and the guy playing Romeo is a new sophomore. Meg and Tim always tell us that talent, commitment, hard work, and bringing ideas and energy are what matters in casting." -Julia