October 26, 2012
By Richard Irwin, SGVN
'All I need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten' opens at Walnut High
"All I need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." No really, I learned to spell and write that first year. And storytime taught me all the elements needed for a good story.
So, naturally, my interest was piqued when I learned this was the subject of Walnut High's fall play. As it turns out, I learned much more about feelings and human drama from dress rehearsals for the play.
And the young thespian obviously feel the same way, as they discussed the latest production by the drama department at Walnut High.
"The whole play is really a metaphor about life," says Andrew Acosta. "While we're busy consumers, we need to step back and think about what's really important in life."
The junior has to change his reality to portray a husband and businessman. How does a 15-year-old prepare for such a role.
"I watched my grandma and grandpa, then I adopted some of their mannerisms for my `marriage,"' Acosta said. Many of the 17 actors and actresses have to play several parts in the dramady.
Gabrielle Duong finds herself portraying people ranging from a tiny kindergartner to caring social worker.
"It's hard for performers because it's very different," the 15-year-old explained. Still, the Walnut junior says the trick is to stay "in character" while on stage.
Especially, when performing theater in the round with the audience only a couple of feet away.
"Every member of the audience is seated on our stage surrounding our performers from every angle," said drama teacher Joanne Karr.
"It offers a much more intimate experience for both our actors as well as the audience." This is the Mustang's second theater in the round production. It brings all the action up close and very personal.
"I was looking for something ensemble in nature, where they'd have to play multiple roles," the award-winning instructor said. Along the way, the students learn lessons to guide them as they begin their adult lives.
"It really teaches values and morals," insisted 17-year-old Paulina Tinana. "One I took to heart was that you can be anything you want to be." The Walnut senior would like to become an actress, but she's also interested in microbiology.
"I like the open themes in the play, we talk about everything," agreed 16-year-old Emi Tsukada. This production finds the junior on stage instead of in the wings. Tsukada was the student director in the last play.
"I'm not scared, I've performed in the dinner theater so I'm ready," she said.
The play continues this weekend at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Seats are general admission, $9 if purchased in advance or $11 at the door.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.seatyourself.biz/walnutdrama. For more information, call 909-444-3699.