NAHS Theater Company brings exciting chemistry to fall production of “Fools”

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Will Redding [left, as Leon Tolchinsky] talks with Gabriella Gagnon [as Sophia Zubritsky] about the curse on the village of Kulyenchikov. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

 

Ethan Brayall-Brown [Left], Chase Morgan [Center], and Deveny Paine during a rehearsal of “Fools” on Nov. 14. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

They say that a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

The North High’s Theater Company’s 10-person cast brings energy, dedication, and hilarious talent to their adaptation of Neil Simon’s comedy “Fools.” Much of the team have worked together before, but there are a few new faces, such as Ethan Brayall-Brown, in the role of Slovitch. Formerly on the football team, he wanted to find a new way to become involved in the school and was encouraged to try his hand on stage, starting with one-act plays. He said being in a comedic role comes naturally to him, as he prefers the mindset.

I don’t like to be in a depressive mood,” he said during rehearsal on Thursday, Nov. 14.

The play’s story takes place in the small Russian village of Kulyenchikov, which has been living under a curse of stupidity, leading to some hilarious dialogue. Leon Tolchinsky—played by Will Redding—is a bright schoolteacher who has just landed a new job tutoring Sophia Zubritsky, whom Leon quickly falls in love with. He dedicates himself to breaking the curse so he and Sophia can live happily after ever. But with a village so dimwitted that thinking is considered a rare feat, he has his work cut out for him.

Theater Company Director Lisa Forsgard said 35 students auditioned for the play, and projection and inflection were skills she was looking for. The cast has learned a number of techniques to help with this.

It’s really what they can bring to the role,” she said.

Teddy Girouard said that when he was getting into the role of Snetsky—possibly the worst shepherd of all time—he worked to understand how the character speaks, thinks, and moves. He added that the cast needs to keep a straight face when doing scenes that will have the audience laughing, a challenge at times.

What’s going on in their heads, how the gears turn,” he said in describing the process of getting into character.

Bailey Hobbs, who plays the role of Sophia’s father Dr. Zubritsky, described the school’s theater group as a small community. They work together in different roles but also socialize outside the classroom.

We take that energy and put it on the stage,” he said.

Fools” will open on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m., with a second show on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. Both shows will be held in the Judith E. Cobb Theater at North Attleborough High School. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for high school, younger students, and senior citizens. They will be sold at all lunches, and before or after school in room 101. For more information, call 508-643-2115, ext. 1101, or email lforsgard@naschools.net.