Meet The Plastics

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Mean Girls is a popular Broadway musical, this is one of many posters created for it. Shown are the characters Gretchen Weiners(left), Regina George(center), and Karen Smith(right). (photo courtesy of Creative Comons).

Mean Girls is a movie created by Paramount, but the musical is so much more fetch. The Leesville Theater department is putting on this production this spring, and the cast is gearing up to begin rehearsals later this month. 

The Plastics, the mean girls in the musical, are three characters: Gretchen Weiners, Karen Smith, and Regina George, their leader. 

“I play Regina George,” said Molly Ray, senior. Gretchen Weiners is played by sophomore Camryn Bugaj, and Karen Smith is played by junior Emily Sendall.

The audition process for this show was very vigorous, with more than 80 people auditioning and only 50 people being cast. “It was definitely nerve-racking, there was some pressure and anxiety with each auditioning role, but I just kept reminding myself that the role doesn’t define who I am, and either way I would have fun,” said Ray.

The school’s theater program allows any students interested to join and have the chance to audition in the show. While they don’t have enough space for all of the students who want to participate in the shows they encourage all of those who don’t get cast to work behind the scenes and help bring the shows to life.

“They build all the sets, and they do all the lights and all of the sounds. They do an amazing job every single time, it always blows me away, because without them we would not have a show to put on,” said Sendall. 

Many crew members act themselves and have been acting for a long time just like the actors. “I started acting in the third grade, cause my mom was like you’d like this so she signed me up for a local youth theater that I had a neighbor that went to, and I liked and kept acting for a few years, then I took a break then I came to Leesville and started acting again,” said Sendall.

Many actors begin doing this in different ways. “I started when I was like 11 and was in this theater camp that my sister had been doing for years, and I had always wanted to do it, and I just got into a traditional school calendar instead of year around so I did the camp and it was so much fun,” said Bugaj.

All actors prepare differently for each role. 

“Definitely reading the script, working on blocking and character analysis, like if there’s a movie on it, that I can see how other people play the character and build off of it, but not directly copy,” said Sendall. 

“Regina has such pretty wicked songs, so I go down to my basement every day and practice hitting the notes, so they become more probable it’s not such an issue,” said Ray.

Acting has been a big part of who these actors are, “It definitely affected my life for the better. I found something that I enjoy doing and makes me really happy, and it just makes me a better person all around,” said Bugaj. The community surrounding this show, and the theater department has had an immense impact on everyone involved, “it has sculpted my personality, it made me confident, in front of people, it’s helped me make a lot of friends, and acting itself has taught me to push through the pain,” said Ray.

Theater having this big of an impact on these actors’ lives has pushed them to work even harder on acting and enjoy it so much more. Rehearsals for Mean Girls don’t begin till January 29 but these actors have already put in the time to learn about their characters. 

“I play Gretchen, and she’s very much a people pleaser. She has a song in the show where she just rambles on about how insecure she is and about this toxic friendship she knows is toxic but she just wants to please people. It’s kinda sad but it will be fun to explore,” said Bugaj.

The Mean Girls show will be April 17 through the 20 in the Leesville auditorium, so be sure to check out Regina George who is.

“Mean for sure, but also very witty, she’s smart, she’s not dumb even though some people might think she’s not, she’s not all looks: she gets what she wants: she’s very manipulative,” said Ray.

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