Promising giggle overload
‘BAD Auditions by BAD Actors’ opens April 28 at Notre Dame Academy
By Freddy Moyano
After weeks of rehearsals and hard work, the curtain is about to rise on Notre Dame Academy’s (NDA) rendition of BAD Auditions by BAD Actors, the school’s spring play and final performance of the 2021-22 school year.
“We have quite a few seniors who are taking their final bow in this production,” Artistic Director Crystal Dory said. “It will be hard to say goodbye to them, but we have a talented freshmen and junior group as well. So it is a really nice array of ages.”
A total of 20 actors and a crew of 12 working behind the scenes, seek to make BAD Auditions by BAD Actors a memorable stage performance.
Dory said the play is about newbie director Carol has one day to find the leads for a production of Romeo and Juliet. But what seems like a simple task proves impossible when the pool of auditioners includes extreme method actors, performers who just don’t know how to channel their rage, and one woman who may or may not think she’s a cat.
Dory, who is in her sixth year as director of NDA’s spring play, said the show promises to be as funny as the title.
“I wanted to find something that catered to (the talent) I had at the time,” she said, adding that this production was ideal to stretch the cast’s acting talents to the next level. “Even though the set is simpler than the one we used in plays like Clue in recent years, the big personalities of the actors will fill in the stage.”
A peek into the cast
Abigail Elfner (Avery Stern)
Senior Abigail Elfner, cast as Avery Stern in BAD Auditions by BAD Actors, said she started acting in 2016 and has participated in both musicals and theater plays while at NDA – most recently portraying Ren McCormack’s mother, Ethel, in Footloose: The Musical earlier this year.
As Avery Stern in BAD Auditions by BAD Actors, Elfner’s role weighs heavily on comedy as she heads up the theater’s production.
“I enjoy funny roles, but I absolutely adore that heartfelt element that some drama roles offer as well,” Elfner said as she got a little emotional thinking about how this will be her last show at NDA.
After graduation, she said she plans on pursuing a degree in philosophy, but wants to keep acting if the opportunity presents itself.
“I do both singing and writing, both in a liberal sense, most of it to feed my creative self,” she said of her main artistic passions outside NDA.
While in middle school at Father Allouez, Elfner said her passion for acting began to flourish thanks to her role in Seussical: The Musical where she brought to life Amazing Mayzie.
Anna Lippert (Carol Danes)
Anna Lippert will take on the role of casting director Carol Danes in the play.
“This was the role I wanted the most,” Lippert said. “(This character) gets easily stressed out.”
Carol is a character Lippert said is very relatable.
She said she was in Forensics during middle school, but the role that really fueled her passion for acting was that of Alice in a version of Alice in Wonderland she was part of in 2017 at Holy Family School.
Lippert was also a part of the Footloose cast portraying goofy Aunt Lulu.
She said she credits her inspiration for acting to her older sister, Danielle, a St. Norbert College graduate.
Lippert said she isn’t sure if she will continue to act after high school, but after graduation, plans to attend Academy of Beauty Professionals to obtain her nail tech license.
“I love doing my friends’ and everyone’s nails,” Lippert said about the skill she perfected during high school.
Jacob Massart (Roger the assistant)
Jacob Massart will play Carol Dane’s assistant, Roger, in BAD Auditions by BAD Actors, a role he said is a good fit.
“He pesters the other actors and doesn’t really assist much,” Massart said.
He said one of the most challenging parts of acting is learning lines, but that group synergy and rehearsals help.
Massart said he got his start in theater as a freshman in 2019 as a member of the cast for Clue.
He said even though he didn’t get a lot of lines, he acquired a lot of experience on stage.
Massart said the COVID-19 pandemic also had a lot to do with his increased interest in acting.
“It was a relief to be back on stage,” he said. “Back in 2020, we were rehearsing another play when COVID-19 struck, and it did not go forth.”
Massart got back on stage earlier this year when he was cast as Willard in NDA’s Footloose: The Musical.
After high school, he said he plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he will pursue a major in musical theater, with a possible double major in education.
Pip McGinnity Schneider (Catherine)
Freshman Pip McGinnity Schneider will play the role of Catherine, the “crazy lady who loves cats,” as she described.
Though this is McGinnity Schneider’s first NDA production, it isn’t her first time on stage.
“In the past year, I have done stage acting with a smaller company that performs at St. Norbert College,” she said. “This was at the beginning of the school year and it really got me into acting more.”
McGinnity Schneider recently portrayed the role of Martha in Cheaper by the Dozen, which she said helped her connect with the stage.
She said practice, practice and more practice is key to tune out the intimidation one might feel from the audience while on stage, and found flashcards helpful in learning her lines.
McGinnity Schneider, who attended St. John the Baptist in Howard prior to NDA, said friends were a strong influence to her.
“I have this friend who pushed me into acting and auditioning for roles at summer camps,” she said, recalling being turned down for a role she auditioned for in years past, then getting another role weeks later.
McGinnity Schneider said she’s enjoying her first production at NDA.
When, where and how much?
BAD Auditions by BAD Actors runs at 7 p.m. April 28-30 at Notre Dame Academy.
The cost is $8 for students/children and $10 for adults.
Tickets are available at the door.
Freddy Moyano is a film producer, entrepreneur, actor, critic and voice-over artist based in Green Bay. Follow Freddy on instagram.com/freddymoyanoofficial.