23 Cast Members Share Their Favorite Experiences from Crazy For You

James Murphy, Editor-in-Chief

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After another successful year of performances, 23 stars from the cast of Crazy For You would like to share their favorite experiences from this year’s play.

Charlie Bensinger (Bobby): My favorite part about being in this show was being able to perform a musical that not many people knew about with all of my friends. I had an awesome time while learning new things like how to tap dance. I loved being able to take the role of Bobby Child in my own hands and to apply my performing styles to the comedic and enthusiastic character. I just want to thank Mrs. Lynn and the entire directing crew for their incredible effort and dedication to making the show great. Mrs. Lynn truly is the most supportive and caring director any performer could ever hope to have and it is because of her belief and support that we all were able to pull off this challenging yet fantastic show this year. I have learned so much from all the directors during my time here spent at PJP but Mrs. Lynn has always been there for me ever since my first role three years ago in the show “Mary Poppins” of my freshmen year. Studio 38 truly is blessed to have such an amazing and extremely talented director such as Mrs. Lynn.

AJ Collura (Bobby): My favorite part of being in the play this year was learning how to tap dance. Honestly, everything was fun. I got to know a lot of people from Studio 38 who I never really knew that well before.

Hannah Rowan (Polly): My favorite part about being in this year’s musical was being challenged to learn new dancing skills. I had danced when I was younger, but I had to completely relearn how to tap dance. I was also faced with the challenge of doing a solo partner dance. Luckily, I was able to share a starring role with my boyfriend. Being able to do something I love so much with him really made the show this year very special! I also loved spending time with all of my closest friends at rehearsals! The show this year was long and challenging, but being able to experience it with all of my best friends was absolutely unforgettable for me! I would just like to thank the directors for all that they do for us. Everyone involved in the drama program has changed my life for the better and has taught me that as long as you have people that believe in you, anything you want to achieve is possible. I cannot wait for next year!

Kristen Mahoney (Polly): Crazy For You is special because it requires every single person in the show, from Polly to the ensemble, to sing, act, and dance.  One of the best moments of the show is during “I Got Rhythm” when over 200 cast members are singing and tap dancing in perfect sync.

Brianna Commo (Polly): I loved how many new seniors came out and joined the show this year. I feel as though the 72 of us in the show really bonded and really molded together this year, and I am going to hate leaving them in a few short months.

David Light (Zangler): I think my favorite part about being in the show this year was the chance to be a role model for underclassmen. I remember looking up to the seniors and learning so much from them, so that definitely was full circle. Also Crazy For You was such a fun and upbeat show, and I was able to be in so many dance numbers which was amazing! I’d just like to thank everyone involved from the bottom of my heart for sharing your talents and abilities with me and with our audiences. I’ve grown not only as a performer but as a person, and I’ll hold onto the memories made. Four years just isn’t enough!

Will Martinko (Zangler): My favorite part of being in the play this year was getting to work with David Light, Emmett O’Hare, and Mr. B. Since Zangler is not in the larger numbers of the show, we were able to work and focus on our song “What Causes That” to make it the best that we could.

Katelyn Dean (Tess): My favorite part of being in the play this year was definitely learning all of the big dance numbers and seeing them all come together. I also had a ton of fun just hanging out with all of the people in the cast and sharing the stage with my friends one last time.

Michael Ronca (Lank): My favorite part of being in the play this year was making even closer friendships than ever before. It was a blast both being in the ensemble and sharing the role of Lank Hawkins with Sean McCluskey and Tim Faust. Hanging out at rehearsals and running the show was such a great experience and I cannot wait to come back out for the play next year. While I still have another year left in this program, I already know that I will always remember my times in the PJP Drama Department. I also want to thank the Class of 2017. The seniors this year really brought the cast together and made us feel like an even closer family, and they and their talents will be missed next year. In addition to thanking the seniors, I want to thank the directors because without them we would have never been able to put on such a great, fun show.

Tim Faust (Lank): My favorite part about being in the play this year was watching the show come together into something amazing. Spending the time with my friends and being able to see our hard work pay off was truly one of my best experiences at PJP.

Yamil Santiago (Eugene): I would have to say my favorite part of being in the show this year was making so many new friends and memories. The show had its ups and downs but we as a cast really pulled it together. It’s this sense of community and belonging that makes me come back to Studio 38 every year! Studio 38 is such a unique program and it changed my life for the better. It opened me up to new things and gave me a passion I never thought I would have. The memories I’ve made from doing these shows are unforgettable! The friends I’ve made are some of my best friends now and will be even after I graduate from PJP. I hope everyone is able to experience this. I’m so grateful for the whole production team for allowing us to be able to participate in this and when I say it changed my life, I truly mean it.

Ted Dolan (Eugene): My favorite part of being in the play this year, like every other year, is what we call “green room.” Green room is where the entire cast gathers together before each show to pray and to share our energy. It’s truly a moving experience!

Andrew Ericsson (Eugene): My favorite part of the play this year was strengthening friendships and making new ones.

Monica Schneider (Patricia): My favorite part about being in Crazy For You was being able to have as much fun as I did. The musical was upbeat and a timeless classic, which was awesome to be a part of. I was grateful to be casted as the part of “Patricia,” and playing the role was a lot of fun.

Cierra Peterlin (Patricia): My favorite part about being in the show this year was being able to share the stage one last time with my Studio 38 family, and having the most fun part ever— Particia!

Moira Davis (Patricia): My favorite part of being in the play this year was definitely the experience. I met new people, spent time with my friends, and became closer friends with others that I probably never would have without this play.

Gaspare Interrante (Everett): My favorite part about the play this year was working with so many great actors that I’ve spent four years with. In my cast, I acted alongside the great Matt Santangelo, Brianna Commo, David Light, Sean McCluskey, Meghan Wickersham, and Amanda Castanon, just to name a few. It is truly a privilege to share the stage with talents such as these.

Katelyn McCann (Patsy): My favorite part of the play this year was how close we all got with each other and how much fun we had together. I think this show really brought us together as a family and allowed us to work together to put on a great show and have fun and make memories at the same time.

Jacob Snyder (Sam): Because I didn’t do the musical my freshman year (only show choir), the only show I’ve done besides this one was Les Mis last year. Consequently, having only been exposed to Les Mis, I’ve only ever done a very, very sad show before. Crazy For You has quite the opposite atmosphere, being mostly goofy and decidedly not at all morbid; this is what makes it such a fun show. Being on stage as Sam in the trio was especially enjoyable for me because, at all times, my sole purpose in the plot line was a comedic one. What this means is that virtually everything I did onstage was to elicit laughter, and therefore, my experience as an actor was that much easier. In most shows, if you make a mistake, you automatically assume that the entire crowd notices and that it’s the End of The World; but in Crazy For You, when Sam messes up choreography or the blocking of a scene, the crowd laughs because it is deemed as an integral part of his character. Improvisations abound when one pays attention to the actors’ behavior on stage. In this sense, PJP’s production of Crazy For You is unique because it’s a different show every time it’s put on.

Matt Homiak (Sam): This year I witnessed something I’d never seen before in Studio 38. The rehearsals were all over the place: singers were missing lines, actors weren’t where they needed to be… It was a nightmare in general for all of us, especially Mrs. Lynn. But somehow, on the last rehearsal from tech week, we put everything together and it all clicked. The whole show finally fell into place in that one night, and I could feel the energy we all had going into opening night. That excitement we had when the curtain pulled shut on the opening night was almost palpable. Going from 0 to 100 like that, in one night, was remarkable. Doing the play for all four years brought out the performer in me. I might not go into drama or theater when I’m older, but that extra confidence boost that this program gave me really made me feel like I was on top of the world, one show at a time.

Emily Grossbauer (Mother): One of my favorite parts of being in the show was making the audience laugh. Last year’s show was Les Miserables, which is a very serious, depressing show that made the audience cry.  This year we performed a show that is Les Miserables’ polar opposite. Crazy for You was funny, happy, upbeat, and even at some points a little goofy. When the audience laughs at something you say, it boosts your confidence and makes you perform better.

Brady Hourigan (Junior): My favorite part of the play is the fun in it, the family atmosphere where you don’t have to worry about getting judged, the encouragement coming from everyone, the excitement and adrenaline rush before every show, green room, the food, and the directors.

Joey Mazzio (Junior): My favorite part of the show was meeting everyone and building relationships with everyone. I was instantly pulled into the Studio 38 family and I’m so happy I was involved.

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