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Portage Township Media

Monsters Unite! Behind the Scenes of PHS Fall Play “The Witch’s Princess”


Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, there lived a motley crew of Thespians, who were the renowned storytellers of their city. They had told many great tales for decades on the stage of Portage High School, including musicals such as 42nd Street and 9 to 5, as well as plays such as Geek! and The Alibis. This Fall, the Thespians knew that they wanted to bring magic to the stage with a fantasy play, so they searched far and wide for one. Eventually they found the perfect story to tell: The Witch’s Princess by Don Zolidis.

The Witch’s Princess follows the spunky Princess Allysandra (Jazmyn Dennis) on her quest to slay the malevolent Bog Witch (Saleeyah Fone’y) who killed her mother and cursed her kingdom. In order to do so, Allysandra must put together a formidable team, which consists of her closest friend Gabriella (Brooke Tenenika), whose fanciful perspective on love irritates Allysandra, Grendel’s Mother (Elaina DeLeon), a compassionate monster grieving for her son, Megoosa (Rachel Bilyak), a self-confident demolitions expert with geese for hair, and the Jabberwock (Savannah Spencer), a beastly creature with an insatiable hunger. Along the way, Allysandra learns a few lessons on the importance of friendship, the heartaches of loss, and the power of love. 

During the Thespians own quest to put on the production, many of the members of the cast and crew encountered their own challenges. 

Senior Elaina DeLeon, who plays Grendel’s Mother, expressed that building connections with people she does not know very well was one of the most challenging aspects of the production for her. 

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“I would say that the most challenging part is trying to build connections with people that you don’t really talk to during rehearsals. We really want to build that sort of family dynamic,” DeLeon said.

Sophomore Will King, who plays an arrogant warrior named Beowulf, has shared similar challenges with the production. 

“Sometimes if someone’s mood is off, your mood is going to be off too. It’s just like, we’re all living together at this point, so it’s just like you’re gonna get annoyed by someone eventually.” 

In spite of the pressures of putting together a production with a large cast and crew, both DeLeon and King agree that building relationships with others is vital to putting on an excellent show. 

Towards the end of the show, there is a battle sequence between Allysandra’s team and some enemy knights. Choreographing and performing the scene required both collaboration and hard work between cast members. 

“I have really enjoyed learning the fight choreo, and on top of that my fight partner is hilarious when we have to practice,” DeLeon expressed when asked about her favorite aspect of the show. 

The hard work and determination stayed consistent for those behind the scenes of the show as well. Senior Jerzie Jenne is the stage manager for The Witch’s Princess, a role that includes remembering and calling the blocking, lines, lights, set pieces, and sound cues of the production. 

“The most challenging part of being a stage manager is remembering everything all the time, for example like everyone that will be absent that day, writing all the blocking, knowing what goes where and when,” Jenne stated when asked of the challenges of being a stage manager. 

The Witch’s Princess is set to open this Friday, November 17, and will close on November 18. Tickets are eight dollars and can be purchased online at portageperformingarts.ludus.com. The Thespians invite everyone to come and watch their magic unfold on stage, and that it would truly be a happy ending to cap off their hard work. 

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