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College Park Drama Club puts on first student-led show

Stacy Pollicino
The College Park High School Drama Club staged its first ever student-led show, featuring 18 acts, in May. Seniors performed the final song of the Variety Show.

On one special night last month, the College Park High School Drama Club hosted a performance of monologues, musical numbers, soloists and improv. It was the club’s first-ever student-led show. 

The Drama Club headed by student president Tessa Pollicino and vice president Sophie Pence, both 12th graders, put together a show featuring the talents of the close to 30 drama club members. The show featured 18 acts including an improv segment from the school’s improv club.

This year is the club’s second year at College Park, but this is the first time the club has put on its own show to feature its own members. Approached by College Park’s drama teacher, Tony Gardner, about the potential variety show, Pollicino and Pence jumped at the opportunity to showcase those in the drama club, as not all members are a part of the school drama program. The show allowed all club members to choose and perform an act or song of their choice. 

“I’m proud of everyone who was in it, and people who I had never seen perform anything before performed something and had the confidence to do so,” said Pollicino. 

The show also gave students more freedom in what they performed, allowing them to choose what they wanted to do in their act. Pence noted the noticeable effect this had on the outcome of the show: “I think you could see on stage, everyone was very happy with what they were doing because everybody got to pick. And you saw a lot of people got to step outside of what they typically do. For example, people sang songs who have never sung for the program before.”

Finding a way to advertise the show to the student body as a small group outside the drama program was difficult. The show aimed to showcase drama and bring in those interested in student performance. Pence and Pollicino also found it difficult putting on an official show, with a large group of students, and ensuring their commitment. To their surprise, they found that students were really engaged in the production. 

Rehearsals began in mid-April, with students donating their time outside of school or during their lunch and study hall periods for rehearsals. The Variety Show was showcased on May 8 about a month after rehearsals began.  

The students participating in the production donated their time at lunches and after school to make the show a success. The show was put on solely because of the students’ hard work. Pollicino cited the encouraging attitudes from the students involved. “It’s cool to see when you say, ‘Hey we’re going to do this show,’ and a bunch of people jump up and say ‘great, we’re going to help you do this show’ and put their time and their effort into making the show.”

The show was also greatly helped by Gardner and his efforts as well as the Drama Booster Club, which aids in fundraising with the donation of intermission snacks and organizing ticket sales at the Pleasant Hill school. The club was able to use the school’s stage in the multi use room for the performance. Pence noted how helpful Gardner was in the production of the show and helping guide them on important logistics, with the show remaining fully student driven.   

The hard work put in paid off with Pence and Pollicino hearing from fellow students that it was one of the best variety shows because of this new format, allowing students to feel more freedom in their performances. “It is really cool to be a part of something we put together, and to have people get passionate and participate,” said Pollicino.

*Additional resources:

Bailey Winey, who graduated in May from College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, will attend UC Berkeley this fall.

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