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St. Thomas of Villanova gearing up for production of “Mean Girls”

"Mean Girls" Performance

Students and staff at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School are preparing for this year’s theatrical production.

The Villanova Players are presenting the show “Mean Girls” this year with performances starting next week. Between 40-50 performers are involved this year, with backstage crews and a number of programs in the Catholic high school collaborating to stage the production.

“This is a huge undertaking with projections and big sets but with a very talented cast,” said director Mary-Jo Grado.

There are eight shows altogether with drama students and staff being assisted by construction, cosmetology, communications technology, dance, and art classes and the lighting and tech club. A pit band will also be part of this year’s show with musical director Ann-Marie Brunet part of it.

“Mean Girls” is a show with meaning, she stated, and the students bring it to life with their talent.

“This has an amazing theme,” said Grado. “There is a very strong message in this which we are thankful to have.”

Giada Lopez and Jenna Ward will alternate playing the role of “Cady” while Ethan Moore is one of the “Aaron” characters. Lopez and Ward are each in their second production at Villanova while Moore is in his first.

“We started the play in October with auditions,” said Lopez, a Grade 12 student.

Rehearsals started with students and staff working three to four days a week, stepping it up even more as the Feb. 23 opening night nears.

“We’ve worked really hard together,” said Ward, a Grade 10 student.

Lopez pointed out the work of multiple school programs into the show, stating the work that has gone into the production is “very extensive.”

“A lot goes into the show,” added Moore, who is also in Grade 12.

Ward added there are different genres of music from pop to rock to grunge and more.

“It’s really fun,” she said.

Like Grado, Lopez also said the show has a good message. Ward added they are making “iconic” characters come to life with Moore adding they enjoy playing these characters.

The play features a mix of students from Grades 9-12, said Lopez.

“I love it,” stated Moore. “I think it’s really fun to get to know these people.”

Ward added they have come together as a unit with Lopez saying the cast and crew have become their own community and they have become friends with one another.

Also assisting with the show are Amy-Lynn D’Alimonte with choreography along with Caydance Cristofaro and Melah Mulder while Mackenzie Beltran and Alexa Caroccia are helping with vocals. Jesse Mulveney and Darryl Martin are helping with construction and production as is retired Villanova teacher Andy Paling.

“Mean Girls” is based on a book by Tina Fey. The show may not be suitable for children under 12.

In addition to the Feb. 23 performance, other shows will be Feb. 24, Feb. 25, Feb. 29, March 1 and March 2. All are at 7 p.m. except for the Feb. 25 performance, with the latter being at 1 p.m.

Tickets for adults and students are $15, seniors and children 6-12 are $10 and children under six are free. All seats for the Feb. 25 and Feb. 29 show are $10.

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School is located at 2800 North Townline. For more information, call 519-734-6444.

By Ron Giofu

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