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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Cast of ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’ works to put on show worth watching

New Trier High School’s winter play gives students opportunities to build connections with other actors and learn from one another
Analise Bass
Cast members prepare for opening night of “The Man Who Came to Dinner”

Theater is a huge part of New Trier High School. Students and parents drop everything to see a play students have spent months putting together. During that preparation, cast members build a special bond that can’t be found anywhere else, and this year’s winter play is no exception.

On Dec. 6-8, students will perform this year’s winter play, “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” This comedic play follows famous author Sheridan Whiteside, known for his clever mind and wit. On one of his trips, he slips on ice and is forced to stay in the home of the Stanley family. While there, he takes over everyone’s life, from bossing people around to messing with love lives, wreaking havoc on everyone around him.

My favorite part of any play and theater in general is the people.

— Analise Bass

Auditions took place on Oct. 9. Ryan Dunn, who did not respond to a request for an interview, will direct this season’s cast of 19 students. Many of the  students wanted to try something different, enhance their acting skills, and put on a memorable play.

“I decided to audition for the show because I love theater and acting, and the people in the cast are amazing,” junior Claire Karnes, a cast member playing a character named Banjo, says.

With rehearsals taking place every day after school and on Saturdays, cast members spend countless hours forming connections. Part of the acting experience at New Trier is the community and close friendships that cast members form with one another.

“My favorite part of any play and theater in general is the people,”  sophomore Analise Bass, a cast member playing Mrs. Dexter and Professor Metz, says. “I get to know the cast and bond with them.”

Theater also provides students with the chance to take inspiration from one another, giving them a chance to grow as actors. For any show, it is about working together as a group to make a memorable show, not focusing solely on one role or aspect of the performance. 

“It’s amazing because I constantly get to see people and meet new people who inspire me and I like to challenge my skills and learn new strategies from other cast members,” Bass says.

While New Trier productions help students meet new people, they are also demanding and can cause stress as students try to balance their schoolwork and long rehearsals.

“My least favorite part is getting lots of homework on the days when you are called for rehearsals. That can be stressful at times,” Bass says.

There is also the concern of the judgment students pass on to their peers involved in plays.

“There is often a stereotype that if you participate in theater you are ‘weird,’ but that’s not true,” Bass says.

That stereotype can make it intimidating to be a part of theater, even though most of the time these notions that people have are false. Acting is more than just being a “weird” kid. It is a form of art intended to allow people to express themselves and find an activity that they are passionate about. For these students, the preconceived notions and long hours rehearsing seem to all be worth it for the experience of being a part of such a tight-knit community.

With the performance day nearing, the cast is excited for many people to come watch the show they have worked so hard to put on.

“It’s a show for everyone who wants to laugh a lot and we’re excited to see everyone in the audience!” Karnes says.

Shows will run on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and on Dec. 8 at 4:30 p.m. and the tickets will be sold on

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