Arts Student Spotlight on Sydney Penticuff
December 2016, By Leslee Myers
Within the Pacifica Arts Department, we believe that exhibition and performance are vital parts of the creative process. Artists need to share their creative works and cultivate a dialogue between artist and community. Students at Pacifica have several opportunities throughout the year to demonstrate their artistic skills whether it be on stage, backstage behind the scenes, or at an art gallery.
To help encourage this connection between Pacifica Artists and community we have started this monthly Pacifica Arts Student Spotlight which will highlight a different student from the Digital, Fine, or Performing Arts program every month. For our first Student Spotlight we have chosen Sophomore Sydney Penticuff, a theatre student and this year’s Visual and Performing Arts Department Prefect.
Last month, twenty-three Pacifica students came together to perform Much Ado About A Shrew: A Shakespeare Vignette, a creative telling of two Shakespeare comedies for the school fall play. Sydney Penticuff shares her experience with Much Ado About A Shrew and the Performing Arts.
How were you involved in the play this fall?
This year, I had the opportunity to be in the cast of Pacifica’s fall production of Much Ado About A Shrew. I played the roles of Tranio (Taming of the Shrew), the scheming servant of Lucentio, and Hero (Much Ado About Nothing), the cousin of Beatrice who falls in love with Benedick’s friend, Claudio.
What was it like to perform in a classic Shakespearian play?
Performing in these shows was a very unique experience! Prior to this fall, I had never been in a Shakespeare production. In Taming of the Shrew, I was able to learn a lot about physical comedy and comedic timing. I learned how to act with not only my words, but my actions and body movements as well. In Much Ado About Nothing, I mastered the proper way to faint on stage, and learned how to bring emotion into the dialogue of my character.
What have the last few years of working on Pacifica productions been like for you?
I have absolutely loved being a part of Pacifica’s first two shows! Each production is built upon the strong community of Pacifica’s students and faculty, who provide immense support and encouragement throughout the entirety of the show. Some of my best memories from freshman year came from the long hours spent in the theatre during tech week. I was able to become closer friends with many members of the cast, and it was fun to see the variety of people’s personalities come out on stage.
What do you enjoy most about the Pacifica arts and why?
My favorite aspect of Pacifica Arts is being a part of live theatre. After weeks of early morning rehearsal, blocking, and line memorization, there is nothing more rewarding than sharing the production with the public. It brings me so much joy to witness the audience’s reactions to the show. On opening night of Much Ado About A Shrew, the entire cast was able to build off the energy of the audience. Each scene had a new sense of excitement, as each actor and actress grew more comfortable onstage through the course of the show. As an actress, you do all you can to prepare for the production, but can only hope and pray that it will be well-received. That being said, it is always a relief to hear the first laugh or reaction from the audience. Once the crowd is engaged in the story, my shoulders tend to relax a little as I walk onstage to play my part.
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