Rookie Showcase premieres Jan. 25

Theatre department’s newest members to gain experience


Sara Kress

Members of the tech crew prepare for the Jan. 25 Rookie Showcase.

Emma Kress, Reporter

During his freshman year, sophomore Pat Downey was struck with creative inspiration.

“One day last year in resource, I got really bored, and I started formulating in my head an idea of a sketch for a rookie show. I thought, you know what, I should write this down and see if I can direct it,” Downey said.

And Downey will do just that.

He is directing a short play that he wrote entitled “The First Round of Bizarre” in this year’s Rookie Showcase, which will take place Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Students can get in free by showing their ID.

Downey is not the only student director. Each scene is directed by a novice in this capacity. From this, they can obtain experience in directing and acting for future theatre leadership.

Director of theatre arts Ms. Jennifer Alexander said that the Rookie Showcase is “an evening of short scenes or playlets that have new directors and new actors.”

This year’s Rookie Showcase features 10 short plays.

Alexander said that the purpose of the Rookie Showcase is to “give people a sample of what it’s like to be in a show at Cathedral before being in a bigger show. It gives them a chance to get to know the theatre people, see how things work, and start to get a level of comfort on the stage.”

Any student eligible

Any student can act in the Rookie Showcase, as long as he has never had a speaking role in a theatre production.

Alexander said that although a lot of the actors are freshmen, some upperclassmen participate as well. “We have seniors that come out who maybe work on the technical theatre side, and finally for their senior year they decide to get on stage for the Rookie Showcase. We do have different ages and some sophomores and juniors who decide to try it,” Alexander said.

Just as tech theatre participants often join the acting side in Rookie Showcase, actors also have the opportunity to explore backstage.

Downey was a freshman actor in last year’s Rookie Showcase.

He said, “My favorite part (of the Rookie Showcase) last year was basically just getting that first taste of what it’s like to be in theatre. This year it’s been showing my rookies what it’s like to act on stage and memorize lines.”

Besides acting, there are several other ways in which students can participate in the Rookie Showcase.

Alexander said, “(Students) can work on the crew, which is doing construction, lights, sound, paint crew or costume crew. They have to apply to be a director.”

Alexander said that students can also write short plays for the Rookie Showcase, but some of the acts are taken from published plays.

Downey said that directing and acting differ, but they can also be similar.

“You have to think that if you were acting this, what would you do and how do you tell these people how to do it,” Downey said.

Alexander’s role

As for Alexander’s role in the Rookie Showcase, she said, “I’m more of an artistic director. I make sure that everybody’s doing what they need to be doing. As far as the artistic side with the directors and the actors, I make sure that they are taking care of everything. (Theater/fine arts department chair) Mr. (Michael) Moffatt is more of the production director. He makes sure that all of the technical elements are being taken care of. He and I talk to make sure that it all works together.”

Many newcomers to the theatre participate in the Rookie Showcase. However, they are not required to be in the Rookie Showcase before they appear in another production.

Alexander said, “The Rookie Showcase is less overwhelming than coming in on a full production where we have months of rehearsals, and there are large casts, making it harder to start to get to know people. (Rookie Showcase) really gives (new theatre students) a chance to see how we do tech week and what some of the traditions are in our theatre. It really gives them a chance to establish friendships before they get into big shows.”

The students acting in the Rookie Showcase are the future of the theatre program. Alexander said, “(Going to see the Rookie Showcase) gives (students) the chance to see what the new talent at Cathedral is looking like. Often we will start to see these people in larger and larger roles in the next couple of years. I’m really excited about them. I had great theatre arts classes, I’ve met a lot of the new people and the auditions we had for Rookie Showcase were awesome. We have some really great talent coming up,” she said.

Different from other productions

The Rookie Showcase is different from other productions because it incorporates a diverse range of small plays.

Alexander said, “It is usually a night of every kind of play or scene you can imagine. Some are happy, some are funny, some are sad or touching.”