Ventura Showcase creates a magical night (8 photos)


Emily Chacon

Ventura High School junior Jacob Barker and senior Darien Bird performed in a scene called "Cabin" at the Drama Department's annual winter showcase. Credit: Bridget Parrino/The Foothill Dragon Press.
Ventura High School junior Jacob Barker and senior Darien Bird performed in a scene called “Cabin” at the Drama Department’s annual winter showcase. Credit: Bridget Parrino/The Foothill Dragon Press.

A clue that it’s going to be a good show is when you feel like you have apparated into the magical world of Hogwarts instead of a small high school theatre.

Ventura’s Little Theater was renovated in an assortment of Harry Potter decor last Friday night, giving the theater a sense of enchantment.

Ventura’s Winter Showcase presented an array of performances from comedies to dramatic monologues and skits, and a highly entertaining selection of improv games featuring Ventura High School’s What? Improvisation Troupe.

A clap of thunder started the show and cued Ariana Guerrero, Hanna Hallahan, and Ashley Weatherford, who all served as MCs for the evening. They introduced each act with some help from Kalen Kasraie and Seryozha La Porte who were dressed as Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, respectively.

The showcase launched with one of the stronger skits, in which Gage Burgi, Kalen Kasraie, Seryozha La Porte, and Joey Santia performed a hilarious few minutes of Monty Python’s “Police Station.”

“It’s actually a tradition with this group to do a Monty Python sketch in each showcase,” LaPorte said.

The crowd seemed to enjoy it as well.

“My favorite was the Monty Python sketch, ‘Police Station,'” Ventura High senior Lauren Rehbein commented.

The mood was taken in a completely different, but equally incredible, direction with the next monologue, which was written and performed by Nate Budroe. “Closure,” put a dramatic feel in the air as Budroe explained the effects on someone experiencing the death of a close friend.

“Sweet Charity” brought a lighthearted feel into the crowd, which presented a couple on top of a Ferris wheel, where one unfortunately finds out that they have a fear of heights.

The What? Improvisation Troupe entertained the audience with a selection of games that included “ABCs” and “Park Bench” just before a short intermission.

The crowd was beckoned back into the show with a monologue by freshman Emma Vielbig in her first performance of “The Last of the Great Waitresses.”

 “I wanted something that wasn’t super intense, but something light and fun,” Vielbig said.

The next couple of acts included “Erased” and “French Chick” which involved some real life situations that garnered some laughs but also showed the strengths that the actors had to offer.  

“I liked ‘French Chick;’ it was really cute seeing them act like that because that’s not how [the actors] usually are,” senior Rachel Hawkins said.  

The room remained quiet with amazement at Prescott DeVinney and La Porte’s strong performances in “Bent,” which explored the subject of discrimination that gays encountered during the Holocaust.

“I chose ‘Bent’ because I found it would be something to challenge me more, because usually I’m comedic and it challenged me to go further than I usually go in acting,” La Porte said.

The showcase ended with a performance of “Hot Kool-Aid” by Gage Burgi and Joey Santia, leaving the audience in fits of laughter.

“I enjoyed Joey Santia’s spit [in “Hot Kool-Aid”],” Hawkins said.  

The actors emerged from behind the curtains to take a bow for the night.

“It was really amazing, as usual; showcases are one of my favorite things to come see that the Ventura Theatre does,” Rehbein said.

Credit: Bridget Parrino/The Foothill Dragon Press

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