The Freshman class council has been planning their first project of the year. On Friday, December 8th, the Freshman class will be hosting an Open Mic Night from seven pm to nine pm in Old Hall. Tickets can be bought for 5 dollars at the door or at all three lunches at Arlington High School during the week leading up to the event.
The fee covers all food and entry costs, meaning that once a participant has paid to enter, they can have as much food as they wish. The Freshman class council has already secured a donation of ten pizzas from Andrina’s and plans to purchase five more. They are also in the process of acquiring a donation of snack foods from Stop and Shop. Students can sit on picnic blankets and watch the shows or participate themselves.
When talking about participants, Freshman Class President Lauren Bain noted “all you have to do is anything with a microphone.” Possible acts could be “singing, poetry, instrumental pieces, rapping, comedy.”, added Bain. The freshman student government hopes “It will be a very low key night and a lot of fun,” according to President Bain.
The Arlington High varsity boys soccer team had a successful season. They were number one in the Middlesex league, and made it to state semi finals until they were knocked out by Concord Carlisle on November 13th at Manning Field in Lynn, MA. The boys battled until the end, only falling to the last penalty kick, in a shoot out 5-4. This is the farthest the boys soccer team has ever gone into tournament, and was their first time winning the Middlesex league title.
Going into the season, the boys did not expect such success and victory. Many of the players had not experienced the varsity level before. However, the “strong chemistry” between the boys brings them all together and prevents cliques, mentioned a few of the athletes when questioned about the integrity of their team dynamic.
The boys attribute the team’s success to their coach, Lance Yadzio. He did a great job “listening to the players and bringing the input from the captain’s into games” said Cleary. Yadzio brings up any concerns with the whole team, keeping the players unified, which helps with the overall team dynamic.
When bench players hop on the field, they all give 110% of their effort and energy. Cleary points out that “their spot is on the line”, so they must give it all they’ve got to prove themselves to their captains and coach, as the three captains additionally help their coach with the starting lineup.
While sophomore Perry Sofis-Scheft is off the field, he takes his time to scan the game so he can bring what the team is lacking when he gets put in the game. He picks up where the starters left off.
Over the summer, many of the upcoming underclassmen attended captains practices, allowing them to gain a lot of skill and ball control. Senior captains Max McKersie, Lloyd Cleary, and Adrien Black kept these gatherings focused. Manager Jeff Pacheco observes that “players such as Noah Aarons and Lucas Plotkin have earned their time by proving their dedication on and off the field”.
Cleary notes that “by being number one in the state, the team has come into some games too cocky” costing them a win. “You must take things one step at a time”, advises Pacheco. “Be there for the grind” Perry says. “Never give up” Pacheco adds.
Autumn in the Lowe Auditorium of Arlington High School typically means a few things: Freshmen Orientation, Speech and Debate Club competitions, college visits, class assemblies, Japanese exchange student performances, and, of course, the annual fall play.
Michael Byrne, a seventeen-year veteran teacher in the drama program and a part-time theatrical aficionado, has chosen this year’s play to be Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The work, which, according to Byrne, “resonates in the time in which we’re living,” follows a story that took place roughly 24 miles northeast and 325 years ago, in the midst of the Salem Witch Trials.
Aside from the inevitable romantic facets, The Crucible explores ideas of mob mentality, as well as the ramifications of blame, lies, and betrayal, all of which Byrne sees remaining pertinent today. “This play was written in 1953,” he states, “so why do we have to reexplore it in 2017? I think the notion of the damage that lies can do is something that is relevant today. And scapegoating, whether that be scapegoating ethnic groups or religious groups, or people of different sexual orientations or gender expressions, I think that a lot of people are being scapegoated in our world today.”
Above all, the climate that Arlington High School’s Theater Program strives to create, coinciding with that of the school as a whole, is one that is encourages all students to freely express themselves. In fact, a hallmark of the High School is the longstanding professional reputation its Theater Program upholds—its glory years continually lengthening under Michael Byrne’s direction. The program’s increased prominence has made Byrne aware of the need to push students, too. “Well, certainly, the most important thing is that [the school environment is] a safe one but also one where they can be pushed to take risks and dig deep into characters. You’re not going to take risks if you’re in a safe environment.”
Past performances that have taken place at Arlington High School (AHS), ranging from Hello, Dolly! and A Christmas Carol, to Peter and the Starcatcher and Crazy for You, have not failed to outdo their predecessors. Miles Shapiro, a junior who portrays Giles Corey in the play, lends an insider’s perspective to acting in The Crucible. “AHS has an exceptional theater program,” Shapiro commented. “The plays are consistently well rehearsed and directed. The production value is fantastic and the shows have an level of professionalism not always seen in high school shows. AHS has always been a community that supports the arts, and we are very grateful to live in an area where artists are allowed to thrive and do what they love.”
As for the cast’s dynamic, Shapiro couldn’t have supplied a more glowing review. “The atmosphere among our cast is fun, energetic, and extremely supportive. Strong friendships are formed across all grades and the cast makes time outside of rehearsal to bond. As soon as I enter rehearsal I feel immediately comfortable to be myself and there is no hostile energy or discrimination.” Earlier last week, the cast went on a field trip to Salem, both to grasp the historical context, and to deepen their bond as a theatrical unit.
Now an upperclassman and experienced in the ways of high school, Shapiro—also a member of the student government, Journalism Club, and Model Congress—cautions that involvement in the play deepens the seemingly insolvable mystery all students face: balance. “The play is a huge time commitment, and it is a lot of work, but it’s all worth it,” he notes. Despite the perpetual uphill climb of managing time, Shapiro and Byrne both encourage students to look at the plusses that they believe overwhelmingly trump the minuses.
Shapiro preaches his open-call-like testimony to students at AHS by encouraging them to try as much as they can during their four short years. “To the aspiring actors/actresses at AHS, I urge you to get involved as soon as you can. The people in the Theater Program are one of the kindest, most accepting groups (of people) I have ever been a part of, and we would love for you to be part of our community. If you are skeptical, try doing crew first, or working with the publicity committee to get a sense of what the program is like. If acting is really something you’re passionate about don’t waste any time, and take every opportunity to do what you love.”
Byrne suggests, “Be patient with yourself. Everything you do and experience should inform your performance on stage. Every person you meet can expand your own horizons; you can learn so much from other people. Be a sponge…learn everything you can from dancers and singers and actors and comedians, and other people you see on the bus. Everyone is an opportunity to learn.”
You can see Shapiro in The Crucible this Friday, November 3rd at 7:30 pm, and this Saturday, November 4th at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm in the Lowe Auditorium alongside castmates Matteo Joyce (John Proctor), Bella Constantino-Carrigan (Elizabeth Proctor), Dana Connolly (Reverend Samuel Parris), Laura Kirchner (Abigail Williams), and Ben Horsburgh (Reverend John Hale).
Tickets ($8 for students and $12 for adults) will be sold at all three lunches everyday this week at the high school, in the main office of the High School, online (ticketing fee will be applied), and will be available at the door of the theater before you enter.
The entire cast is elated to have their countless hours of hard work pay off this weekend, and hope to see as many Arlingtonians support the Theater Program as possible.