On December 1, 2, and 3, the stage was set for all schools within SD43 as they presented their one-act plays at Heritage Woods Secondary’s theatre. For Riverside, the play they presented is Marathon ‘33, which is about an eleven-hundred-hour dance marathon that takes place during the Great Depression. METFest itself is a traditional district-wide festival that celebrates each school’s drama program with one-act plays.
Tasos Karantais, the lead in Marathon ‘33, talked about his preparation for the role and his methods for staying in character as ‘Patsy Westonfarb’.
“I imagine myself as my character,” said Karantais. “I think of all the facts and all the ‘blocking’ that we have done to describe who my character is, and how my character should interact with the environment surrounding him. Whether it’s the setting, the characters, or the music, you have to live and breathe in those moments when you are the character.”
Sydney Cromarty, an actress from Marathon ‘33, went on to talk about the anxiety that her cast felt before coming alive on stage.
“It’s scary right before,” said Cromarty. “When you’re waiting for the cue to step into that world, there’s like a moment where you have to pause, because you realize that anything could happen on stage. Compared to a movie, you know, a play is live and so there’s that uncertainty that comes with presenting. It’s a scary feeling right before, but as soon as you get on stage and you start interacting with other characters, that fear stops.”
However, newcomers shouldn’t let nerves be a reason to stay away from the theatre. Logan Willis, one of the supporting actors in Marathon ’33, gave a piece of advice on how to deal with the anxiety before performing. “Don’t go on stage to play the character, be the character,” said Willis. “It helps with stage fright, you know? Just ignore the audience and perform for yourself, because that’s really what it’s all about. These performances are for you, and for the audience to be entertained by.”
At the end of the festival, various actors commented on what METFest is really about, whether it’s about a feeling of unity, acceptance, togetherness, or family. It turns out, it’s about all of the above!