DV Drama’s Evening of Theatre shines a spotlight on schoolwide talent

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Kayal Kummeral

Sophomores Soumya Pradhan and Maria Matos connect while performing “For Good” from the musical Wicked.

Running from Mar. 30 to Mar. 31, Dougherty Valley’s Drama Club hosted their annual Evening of Theatre. The event showcased DV’s performing arts talent through a wide range of performances done by both groups and individual students. 

With this year’s Evening of Theatre, the Drama Club hopes to pick up a tradition that was cut short in 2020. “It’s the first time we’ve done [this event] since COVID hit,” Drama Club President Skye Ramos said. “It was the first Evening of Theatre in four years, so I think we were successful in getting it running again.”

Unlike a long musical or play with a continuous story and large cast, the Evening of Theatre featured fifteen short, stand-alone performances that students coordinated. Performers weren’t obligated to sing and dance and act — instead, they could pursue what uniquely showcased their talent. The format of the show, and the focus it put on individual performers, was what set it apart from other drama productions at Dougherty Valley. 

“The Evening of Theatre gives people the opportunity to really perform whatever they want,” Ramos explained. 

As a result, the audience was treated to a diverse variety of performances, from songs to monologues to dance numbers covering many genres.

Senior Darshita Prathap took the Evening of Theater as an opportunity to showcase a different side of herself. Her performance stood out as the only monologue of the evening, which she tailored to fit her identity. 

“My monologue was called ‘The Artist’s Life is a Hard Life,’” Prathap said. “I’m very much interested in art, and I wanted to [tell] the audience about how artists are very underrated.”

For Prathap, her performance gave her the chance to integrate her passion for both visual and performing arts. 

“You can merge the two, and [for me] that goes to show how much art can show your emotions and represent whatever you feel,” she said.

As a senior, Prathap described the Evening of Theatre as an opportunity for her to end her high school journey without any regrets.

“One of the things that I regret not  doing in high school is joining a club like speech and debate or drama,” Prathap said. “Evening of Theatre opened up a new experience for me … to just leave senior year with a message for everyone and myself.”

Prathap’s experience with Evening of Theatre reflected the overarching purpose that the DVHS Drama Club had when organizing the event. The show was open to performers of all grades and levels of theatrical experience, which allowed it to highlight talented students who otherwise might not have been recognized. 

“Evening of Theatre is great because it’s a way of connecting with all the people who might not otherwise be involved in the play or the musical,” Drama Club Secretary Nova Starling said. “A lot of our performers were freshmen and sophomores, and a huge number of people weren’t in the play or the musical. It was really a chance for them to [see] what kind of community we have here, and ultimately for them to get to perform on stage.”

The show opened with Ramos and fellow seniors Adelene Pereyra and Jada Pineda singing “At the Ballet” from the 1975 musical “A Chorus Line.” The song spotlighted each girl, and they were able to flesh out their respective characters using their voices alone. Still, their individual stories came together remarkably well because of their beautiful harmonization. 

“For [“At the Ballet,”] we really had to try and tell the story,” Ramos said. “we were trying to do that vocally.” 

The performance provided an sentimental, uplifting introduction to the evening. 

Standout vocal performances of the night included freshmen Lauren Quimson and Zoe Garcia singing “Journey to the Past,” from the 2017 musical “Anastasia” and sophomores Soumya Pradhan and Maria Matos singing “For Good.” Both performances were simple, but powerfully encapsulated the close bond between each pair of girls.

To contrast the multiple emotional performances, sophomore Briana Bothello and J Ting amused the audience with their rendition of “You’re Nothing Without Me” from the 1989 musical “City of Angels.” Their back-and-forth bickering was convincing and humorous, and ended up as a delightful treat to watch.

After the intermission, seniors Jada Pineda, Mia Verlatti, Anu Tirumala and Lana Tayag, junior Dhwani Adishesh and sophomore Devi Govindarao ignited the stage with their performance of “Cell Block Tango” from the hit 1975 musical “Chicago.” The choreography was centered around the use of chairs. The dancers’ energy emulated the original song and effectively carried it over to the Dougherty Valley stage. 

To end the night, seniors involved in drama came onstage to sing one final song. Their rendition of “What I Did For Love” from the musical “A Chorus Line” was moving, and the audience could see every senior on the stage reminiscing about their own performing arts journey at Dougherty Valley. 

“At the very beginning, [drama teacher] Mr. Vega said, ‘If today was the day you had to stop performing, how would you feel?’” Ramos remembered. “For the seniors on stage, that really made an impact because that was the last time we ever performed in the drama program. It was really meaningful because [this evening] was the end for us.”