By Eric Villanueva ’11
Brophy-Xavier Theatre’s fall play “Up the Down Staircase” opens Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Brophy’s Blackbox Theatre.
The performance with more than 30 Brophy and Xavier students will continue every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. Oct. 28-Nov. 6.
Tickets will be available in advance from cast members for $7. To reserve tickets, call Mrs. Sandra Dennard in the Student Activities Center at (602) 264-5291 Ext. 6285.
“We’re trying hard to incorporate Brophyisms and Xavierisms into the play,” said Ms. Dorothy Dunnion, director of the play. Ms. Dunnion is assisted by Ms. Susan Maynard and Mr. Ron Douglas, who directs the stage crew.
“Up the Down Staircase” focuses on Sylvia Banett, played by Kaitlin O’Shaughnessy ’11 XCP, who is “an idealist, brand new English teacher who chooses to teach at an inner-city school public school” where she finds that “(her) idealism crashes with realism,” according to Ms. Dunnion.
At the school, the students give Sylvia trouble, but she connects with them, especially troublemaker Joe Ferone, according to J.P. Malham ’12 who plays Joe.
“But there’s this one student, whom I’m playing, who is smart but hesitate to learn … he’s a bad kid, but she (Slyvia) takes an interest in him and tries to show his real value to the world,” Malham said, who had a dancing part last year in Brophy’s spring musical “Guys and Dolls.”
Other characters include Sylvia’s fellow English teacher Paul Berringer (John DiMino ’12) and the Dean of Discipline Mr. McHabe (Joey Galeziewski ’12), according to Ms. Dunnion. Malham said the play is “spontaneous” with an assortment of characters, high and low moments and a gambit of emotions.
“I think that people will recognize Brophy and Xavier stereotypes (in the play) because we’re not so different from any other school, whether we’re talking about students or teachers,” Ms. Dunnion said.
Malham said he believes students will really find a connection in the classroom setting and in his character.
“I know I can relate to him,” Malham said.
Ms. Dunnion said she has touched up characters’ traits and personalities to be more recognizable to Brophy’s students and teachers.
“The older English teacher who becomes a mentor to Sylvia, who is beloved by her students and still attractive though older, is played by a young woman who is 6 feet 1 inch tall,” Ms. Dunnion said smiling. “Because all attractive, older, brilliant English teachers are at least that height – if not six-three.”