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This Year and the Future of Blackfriars Guild

Natalia Dabrowska

Natalia Dabrowska

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Fenwick has had a long history of amazing performances by our beloved acting troupe, the Blackfriars’ Guild. They work as a well-oiled machine, each performance becoming bigger and better under the supervision of faculty, especially Ms. Dactilitis and Mr. Finnell. In the 2017-2018 school year, the shows performed definitely lived up to—and even superseded—the expectations of the audiences.
The fall comedy, Mark Twain’s Is He Dead?, was a huge success and started off several people’s careers with BFG. On the topic of the fall play, one of these new actors, junior Louis Quigley, commented: “It was an amazing experience. I got to meet a lot of new people, and I learned so much from the seniors.” It was clear he was having a good time feigning a German accent and acting as one of the main sources of comedy in the play.
The play revolves around a group of poor artists trying to sell their art to make money. After realizing no one would actually buy their paintings, especially not for the money they needed, they concocted a plan to fake a death. Hilarity ensues as senior Tom Latz pretends to be his real character’s sister and must ward off several suitors, such as his fiancée’s father.
Next this year, as with every year, was Banua. As the 50th Anniversary of Fenwick’s favorite tradition, the acts didn’t disappoint. Between hilarious skits and astounding performances, Banua is an annual showcase of the school’s talent, culture, and sense of humor. A few crowd favorites were the Irish dancers, “the Vigilantes,” and of course, the skits. Between Mr. Sullivan as Batman, Mr. Roche attempting to not have a breakdown while guiding teachers through healthy living, Mr. Finnell eating chalk, and a general school roast, it’s hard to pick a favorite. One of the more different and interesting things about the 50th show was how many alumni there were in attendance. They weren’t just in the crowd, but rather on stage, each one acting as a different Mr. Finnell, making a great ending to a great show.
Most recently, Fenwick put on a production of Beauty and the Beast. A childhood classic, BFG certainly had big shoes to fill. Although with junior Laura Kelly as Belle and senior Liam Mahon as Beast, there was no problem doing supreme jobs every night. It was also interesting to see how all of the costumes were to end up. Luckily, everything about the costumes and set were gorgeous and definitely worth the Fenwick name. Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing crew and teachers supporting the play.
Every set this year was beautiful in its own way. In the play, construction crew built walls of a mansion with French doors, overlooking a beautiful vista painted by the paint crew. Banua’s backdrop was simple and modern-looking, but also very colorful and artistic. The musical’s set was huge, with staircases leading up to gorgeous mosaics of key plot items in the play. The crew not only makes beautiful sets, but the life behind the scenes is very familial for them. Sophomore Brandon Brothers told The Wick: “Stage crew is like a home. It’s a place we can all be ourselves and laugh and have fun.”
Overall, this year’s BFG productions have been wonderful, but we are losing some great seniors this year. However, we will be getting in fresh new talent, and I can’t wait to see how far BFG will go.
If this past year is any indication of the future of Blackfriars’ Guild, one can only expect incredible talent from both cast and crew in the 2018-2019 theatre season.
All Friars wait with great anticipation for the next Fall play and Spring musical—and the shows have just been confirmed and announced within the BFG community.
Now, this exclusive information will be revealed for our most dedicated readers of the Wick.
The fall play was written by a famous Scottish novelist most well-known for his creation of Peter Pan—but this show was written before he became well-known.
The comedy, first performed in 1901, is set in the time of Napoleon, against whom one of the main characters, Valentine Brown, leaves to fight. In his dust, he leaves a bewildered Phoebe Throssel, who had expected Valentine to propose to her. Throssel finds comfort in her relationship with her sister, Susan. During Brown’s absence, the two women open a school, and Phoebe never lets herself move on from Brown. She is further sent into a depressive state when the soldier returns.
Tired of being proper, and itching to be with Brown, Phoebe creates an alternate personality, Ms. Livvy, a promiscuous and flirtatious girl, and seduces Brown. The three of them attend a party together, with Phoebe constantly worried Brown will find out that Ms. Livvy is not real—and consequently never be with her again.
To find out the fates of Phoebe and Brown, be sure to attend BFG’s fall play: The Quality Street, by J.M. Barrie.
The spring musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1957, and was the first musical to receive the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. It has since been revived on Broadway, as well as developed into a film, and will now be performed in the Fenwick auditorium in 2019.
Prepare for The Music Man.
The comedy musical follows Harold Hill, a criminal who pretends to be a music teacher for a number of unsuspecting townspeople. He plans to take the enrollment money and leave town before anyone finds out he can play no instruments, but is caught by a suspecting librarian, Marian. Soon, the two find love in an unsuspecting way, and in pursuing this new love, Harold finds himself risking the success of his con to be with Marian.
With such a phenomenal schedule, only good things can be predicted for the next season of BFG. One can almost sense the hilarity of both shows, in the awkward situations in which protagonists find themselves after lying—whether it be to get a lost love, or the money of some townsfolk.
So, prepare to spend hours in the auditorium next year in awe of their interpretation of The Quality Street and The Music Man and of the astounding talent of Blackfriars’ Guild.

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