Winter play “To See The Stars” sends powerful message

Drama Club reached for the stars in their latest play, and it paid off


Madison Creamer

“To see the stars” was one for the book for the Drama Club. The club performs a fall and winter play each year and will put on a spring musical. This year, the musical Newsies will be on May 7th, 8th, and 9th.

Madison Creamer, Staff Writer

The Drama Club never fails to give its audience a talented production. On Jan. 30, 31, and Feb. 1, the club showcased their adaptation of the play “To See the Stars” by Cynthia Mercati.

The play was set in 1909 in the shirtwaist industry in New York. The young girls who work in the industry barely make enough money to live and endure brutal working conditions. When the male-dominated union rejects their pleas for a better life, the young girls at Johannsen’s Shirtwaist Factory come together to protest in order to receive justice and fairness as women in the workforce. The protests bring upon beatings, starvation, and prison, until their efforts are finally recognized as the girls win the first industry-wide strike in American labor history. However, through this process of fighting for the rights of workers and women, the young girls’ personal victory is the change in the way they see themselves as not as victims, but fighters, and the true power of sisterhood. 

Whenever I go to see a play at Lemont, I am always stunned by the organization, the stage set up and staging techniques. This play, in particular, was easy to follow. The background props were not distracting from the play,  and the trademark freeze-frame scenes the Drama Club uses in their performances always make a positive impression on me. I was stunned by how professional the production was from high school students. 

I was also fascinated by the costume design abilities. This talented crew obviously has an eye for style and creativity, and this play without a doubt showcased their true talents. Fitting right with the era of the play, the costume designers were able to pull off the looks effortlessly, making them look authentic. 

I was most impressed by not only the acting in this play but also by the many new faces I saw in lead roles on stage. I am pleased to notice that the casting director values talent and who best fits the role over seniority, and that their decisions for the lead roles of the play were spot on. In particular, actress Amber Molitor, played her character with such emotion that I was particularly moved by her performance. I was also truly impressed by actor Ryan Kazminski, who played “Joe Russo”, and Bella Nisperos, who played “Anya Rosen”  both played the main roles in the production. You can tell when an actor prepares and works hard for their role, and Kazminski and Nisperos really showed his dedication and attention to detail to the message of the play. 

Although the play was truly remarkable in these aspects, there were parts that I was less satisfied with. There were small instances where the microphones were not loud enough for the performers to be heard from the audience.  For example, the opening scene with the shuffling newspapers was overpowering the speaker’s voices, which distracted from the main focus of the play. 

Also, I feel like there wasn’t as much passion in this play as the fall play “The Legend of Sammy Swamp”, probably because of the contrasting dynamics of the plays. The previous play had more humorous elements and was obviously much more enjoyable to perform, but I wish I could have seen more passion on stage in this play. I’m not saying that there weren’t scenes, especially the protest scenes and the final scene with the girls repeating “I sing a song of”  was pure excellent acting talent and power, I just think that not everyone on stage was completely invested in the story. In other words, it was obvious that this play was much less preferred.  

  Regardless, I believe that this story was difficult to pull off, and the Drama Club was able to exceed the challenge by entertaining and motivating the audience of all ages to fight for what they believe in. I was left in shock to attention to detail, to the stars in the background in the last scene and the connection to the title of the play was done so smoothly. Through every performance, including “To See The Stars”, it is clear that the club values the audience’s experience as a pre-professional production. 

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by the effort in all aspects of the play. The entire production was a well-rounded masterpiece that captivated the audience. I definitely recommend students, faculty and their families to experience such a young talented group of students who are destined for greatness.