HFL High Drama David Tuller, Maggie Grann, Molly Connors

HF-L High School students David Tuller (left), Maggie Grann (center) and Molly Connors (right) stage a scene from the high school drama club’s production of 13 Ways To Screw Up Your College Interview last week. Photo by Donna MacKenzie

For the first time in two years, the Honeoye Falls-Lima High School Drama Club will be presenting a show this fall as COVID-19 knocked out the fall play a year ago and the spring musical in 2020. The students did present a musical revue this past spring but it was done virtually.

The curtain goes up on 13 Ways To Screw Up Your College Interview by Ian McWethy on November 12 and November 13 at 7:30 p.m. at HF-L High School’s Auditorium. Tickets are $5 at the door. Audience members will be required to wear masks and to social distance.

The play is about two college recruiters at a prestigious university who need to fill one last spot to keep their jobs. They have 13 eccentric, dimwitted and slightly insane high school seniors who are eager to come in for an interview. What seems like a simple task turns into a nightmare when the applicants turn out to be a reality TV star, a practicing vampire, an amateur magician and others who are even worse. Each applicant’s interview hilariously illustrates what NOT to do at a college interview.

“The kids are excited to do a live show again,” artistic director John Hennessey said. “This is a very light piece. The kids are laughing and having a good time and that was my goal.”
To stay within the confines of the COVID-19 guidelines, Hennessey chose this show because it is only one act (the play lasts 50 minutes) so there is no intermission and no concessions. There are never more than three student actors on the stage at the same time so the kids should be able to perform it without masks. The students, however, are rehearsing with masks on. To add a bit to the show, senior Will Tomaszewski composed original music that he will perform between each one of the vignettes.

The cast members are David Tuller as Interviewer One, Molly Connors as Interviewer Two, Jason Howard as Harold, Kendall Towner as Kimberly, Aubrey Bent as Producer, Ella Clark as Maria, Owen Dack as Brett, Ella Magee as Lily, Noah Adams as Melvin, Paige Moscicki as Kelly, Nick Boggio as Jeff, Maegan Frame as Eve, Maia Gathercole as Elizabeth, Will Emerson as Ben, Colin Fanning as Jason and Maggie Grann as Emily. Leah Torregiano and Kaitlyn Yelencsics are the student directors.

For Connors this role is far different that the two roles she has had in the high school fall play before. As a freshman, she was Florence in The Curious Savage and, as a sophomore, she was Juror #12 in Twelve Angry Jurors.

“I play Interviewer #2 who is desperate to find another student that is somewhat of a good applicant,” said Connors, a senior. “I come in with low expectations of the applicants on the waitlist and then my expectations become even lower. The show is fun, enjoyable, hysterical. It’s a great way to come back from COVID.”

It was hard for Connors the past two years not performing, so it’s exciting for her and the others to be back on stage.

“It’s been so weird the past couple of years, I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Connors said. “It was like, oh I am going to play practice, oh wait we don’t have play practice. It was very odd, a very odd feeling which is why it makes it so much more important to me that we’re back. It is magical. There are really no words to describe how excited we all are to share our show with you. We have been waiting for this moment since so many shows ago that we never got to share with you (the audience) and we are just so thrilled that we finally have the opportunity to do so.”

Magee described her character of Lily as someone who has suffered a great loss but that is only in her own head. This is her first fall show.

“I am very excited,” said Magee, who is also a senior. “My sophomore year, the Bye Bye Birdie musical (that was scheduled for spring 2020) was the first time I had ever auditioned for a musical or been in the play so it was very exciting for me to have that and then COVID happened and took all that away. So, I wasn’t able to perform. This year, personally for me, is like a lot of growth and I finally get to perform after all these years. It is just wonderful to be back in this room on stage. It’s good to have everyone together.”

©2022 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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