Blackfriars Guild Puts on Anastasia

     The Blackfriars Guild started off their year strong with their readthrough of Anastasia. Anastasia is a musical based on the 1997 Disney film. It follows the main character Anya, played by Kiki Sikora ’22, while on a journey to find her past. You see Anastasia come across many different characters that will help her discover who she is and where she comes from. Dmitry, played by James Leonardi ‘23, was someone who truly changed Anastasia’s life. Though they didn’t click right away, in time they learned to come together and help each other out. Vlad, played by David Sobkowiak ‘22, was Dmitry’s right hand man and helped him along the way on his trip to Paris. The villain in this story, Gleb, played by Dante Nottoli ‘22, was the son of the man who murdered Anya’s family. The last two characters, the Dowager Empress, played by Elise Weyer ‘23, and Countess Lily, played by Maria Romero ‘23, are met once the group makes it to Paris. This show will take you through Anya’s journey in finding what makes her special with the help of people she may never thought she would cross paths with.

     The cast all had such an amazing time putting this show together. When asked about her experience of putting on Anastasia, Grace Sletten ‘24 said, “It was a really amazing experience and I really got much closer to all of my cast mates.” This was the second readthrough the BFG has ever done. Last year, they put on Freaky Friday. So many people loved the show last year that they decided to do another readthrough this year. The cast and crew worked hard for three short weeks to put this show together. I was actually lucky enough to be part of this amazing cast. I felt that throughout the whole experience everyone worked together to get things done. The cast put in all that they could do to prepare for this show in such a short amount of time. When James Leonardi ‘23 was asked how it felt to put this show together so fast, he responded, “It was a challenge for BFG, but we pulled through by staying focused at each rehearsal.”

     Not only was this BFG’s first show this year, but it was also the first time they got to perform in the auditorium in front of people for the first time in almost two years. This was so exhilarating for them and they could not wait to put on this show. I asked James Leonardi ‘23 how it felt to be back performing and he professed, “It was incredible finally having the chance to perform with my friends for REAL people. It’s been a long time.” James wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Rose Fagiolo ‘24 said, “It felt very exciting but almost a little overwhelming since it had been so long. Overall I was glad to come back because performing on stage is one of my favorite ways to express myself. I’m glad everyone has made it a priority to come back onstage.” It is so exciting to see how ecstatic all the performers are to be going back on stage.

     Anastasia not only had singing, but it also had dancing. Kathryn Nairn ‘22 danced a beautiful piece from Swan Lake. Kathryn is an amazing ballerina who helped the cast and crew put the show together. Kathryn’s dancing was beautiful and amazed the eyes of everyone who watched. All of the cast was thankful for her and how dedicated she was.

     At each of the showings of Anastasia, so many friends and family of the cast and crew came out to see the show. I interviewed Addy Gierstorf ‘24 about her experience in seeing the show, and she remarked, “The cast did such an amazing job with putting this show together.” The cast is so happy to hear such great feedback like this. Feedback like this builds the confidence of the actors and helps them do better in future shows. The whole cast had beautiful voices and they couldn’t wait to share them with you. The cast was so happy with the turn out of this show and couldn’t have asked for a better first show of the year.

     The whole cast and crew of Anastasia would like to thank Mr. Faille and Mr. Conlin for putting this show together. They would also like to thank the crew because the show would not be able to go on without them. Lastly, they would like to thank the whole Fenwick community for supporting BFG in all that they do and giving them the opportunity to put on shows like this. BFG would also like to plug the fall play, You Can’t Take it With You, and Friar Fest, which will be held on Friday, December 3. Make sure you come out to support all your friends in BFG. Hope to see you all at the fall play and Friar Fest!