Theater Preseason: The Unexpected Experience


Credits to Julia Lin ’22

Credits to Julia Lin ’22

In a crowded CPAC, the lights suddenly dim, a hush quickly falls, and the anticipation begins. All the audience can hear is soft rustling as the curtains ripple apart to showcase another stunning Groton Theater production. 


The theater department is a staple for the Circle, nurturing talent and showmanship while celebrating creative collaboration and experimentation. This year, Groton offered a brand-new opportunity for interested dramaturges: the first theater preseason, starting Sept. 7. 


Theater preseason functioned like any athletic preseason: students arrived on campus a week early to engage in several full days of practice and work with peers, polishing and progressing their respective crafts. Following daily vocal and body warm-ups, students participated in numerous workshops featuring topics of auditioning, stagecraft, acting, and movement techniques. Theater games and play read-throughs accompanied this, as well as activities based on the upcoming fall play and winter musical. 


With the wide array of undertakings, this preseason was a great chance to broaden students’ horizons and to hone in on the different niches of theater. Prefect Alex Kirchner ’22 described the workshops as spanning “almost everything theater-related…this offering is a great opportunity for everyone, regardless of experience, to learn more about theater and the program at Groton. It gave such a large sampling of what we are all about in the CPAC.” 


Other than performance and stagecraft aspects, preseason also highlighted discussions and tackled meaningful subjects within theater, such as identity-conscious casting. Allison Jiang ’22, theater prefect, said, “for the longest time, I didn’t see myself on stage because of my race. Beyond the performance of theater, it’s critical to examine the accessibility of certain roles or productions.” 


The prefects expressed excitement over a theater preseason coming to life. Albeit a packed schedule along with Covid-19 safety measures, students were still able to bond offstage with the preseason group and have fun with games and food—even a dance party. “I am thrilled that we finally have this opportunity,” said Kirchner, describing her outlook and participation as “fitting and exciting”. 


“With all the work that the theater team has done, these few days in preseason proved a helpful introduction to the new students and a warm ‘welcome back’ for the old theater friends,” said Prefect Julia Lin ’22.


For everyone—from seasoned performers and set designers to students simply curious about the program—this first theater preseason was a chance for an immersion into Groton’s vivacious, distinctive theater program.