Auntie Mame: The show must go on!


Patrick Garrett

Due to the raging Woolsey Fire, Las Virgenes Unified School District closed all of its campuses, resulting in the postponement of Calabasas High School’s Fall Play, Auntie Mame. The Woolsey Fire initially ignited on Nov. 8 and lasted until Nov. 22, blazing right through the play’s opening week which was meant to last from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17.

Many students at Calabasas wondered if the show would be rescheduled in spite of the recent disaster and lost rehearsal time. Auntie Mame was postponed until Nov. 29 and ran through Dec. 1, showing only four times as opposed to the original goal of six.

“Before we went on stage on Thursday, we heard that the fire had started,” said senior Sivan Propper. “We went home that night only to find out that school was cancelled. Later when the cast found out that the show was postponed too, we worried that it might be cancelled altogether.”

The cast and crew of Auntie Mame worried that they would not get the opportunity to perform for the community and showcase their hard work. For days, the status of the school following the eruption of the fire was unknown, so students questioned whether or not classes would continue the following week. However, the cast assumed the play would only be pushed back by a week or so, if even that; they never imagined that the fires would run wild for so long or that the school week would be cancelled entirely.

“It was nerve-racking because we didn’t know what was going to happen or if the show was still going to be put on,” said junior Maddy Glave. “Many people in the show left their belongings at school too because we assumed we were having school the next day. But, they didn’t let us back on campus. Everything was really quick and happened so fast. You never expect it when when terrible things actually happen to you.”

Even though the Auntie Mame team lost valuable rehearsal and preparation time due to the fire, the cast made it clear that the show would go on once school resumed.

“Fortunately, our amazing crew met as soon as the PAEC was cleared to start to work on the set and prepare everything for the play,” said junior Bodie Nuss. “It was really amazing to see how everyone devoted themselves and their time over the break to make sure that everything was running smoothly. With everything the entire cast and crew has gone through, the show is still going to turn out really well.”

Although the extended break was impromptu and overall heartbreaking, members of the cast were thankful for the extra time. According to Propper, they also felt that the show was even more meaningful than before the fire, as it was now a way to brighten the lives’ of those affected by the disaster. The majority of the cast agreed about the play’s newfound importance, and they wanted to make sure they did it justice.

“Having the show postponed made us savor it a little more because when the show was supposed to be put on, we were feeling very overwhelmed and thrown into it,” said senior Sivan Propper. “We had been rehearsing everyday for the past eight weeks, so that break let us take a deep breath and really enjoy and appreciate the time we have together.”

Many CHS students were concerned that the play would suffer due to the loss of rehearsal time. However, the cast and crew worked incredibly hard and succeeded in putting on a fantastic show. Even though they faced adversity, the cast powered through, for they wanted to be the strength that was somewhat lost in the community.

“It was really hard to get back into the groove of things. But, it didn’t take long for us to find our place,” said sophomore Camie Sniderman. “Walking into the first rehearsal back was so awkward because we all knew that we should’ve been done with the show already. But, we are having a blast. It’s exciting.”

Overall, while the fires temporarily disturbed the CHS community, Auntie Mame was able to return a success, showing the payoff of cast and crew members’ hard work. This year’s theater program will be remembered for their determination to move forward no matter what life threw their way.