The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year, Masters students run workshops to explore different core concepts and ideas surrounding the years designated theme.
Student-led MLK day workshops highlight importance of student involvement
Ella Liu, Contributing Writer • February 23, 2024

Student-run workshops led on Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year have been an essential educational experience for students, with each workshop...

Lights, Camera, Murder

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The end of the semester can be a stressful time. Final projects, tests and everything in between are crammed into the three weeks between the end of winter break and the end of the semester. However, final exams take on a different form for the Advanced Acting classes. Instead of the traditional test, they perform plays in the Experimental Theater for the Masters community. This year, in addition to performing the play, the advanced theater classes also submitted the plays to the New York Thespian Festival, an annual event where high school students immerse themselves in the world of theater with performances and workshops. At the festival, the Advanced Acting classes won several awards for the two plays they presented:  “A Front Row Seat to Murderand “Titanic 2: The Sequel”.

Keira Burgos, a senior in the advanced acting class, won an award for her role in “A Front Row Seat to Murder.” She said “[New York Thespian Festival] was, I think, one of the first theatre competitions in New York. There’s a lot all over the country and it’s a forum in which student actors from different schools can submit plays or monologues or different things like that and submit it into the competition and have it be judged and like, critique and different things like that.” 

She continued. “I loved working on it. I played Ann/Audrey. She was Ann in the first part of the play and her actual real-life character is named Audrey. And so it was cool to play such a complex character because I think that it was different than what I’m used to. I’ve been in Middle School productions and things like In The Heights and Zombie Prom and all that stuff which was different than what this was. And I think I had to channel something new.” 

The Advanced Acting show wasn’t the first time Masters had seen “A Front Row Seat To Murder” Its initial showing happened at the Spring Shorts showcase in May 2023. 

McKarthy Grimes 24’, the playwright of “A Front Row Seat to Murder” and current senior, has made one major change to her play since its first showing: the ending. 

“I liked the cliffhanger ending kind of leading leaving the audience in that era of suspense,” Grimes said. “But because this play, in particular, was now going to competition, OC [Meg O’Connor, theater teacher] and I felt that it would be better if the play ended on not such a dark note because in the original play, it was kind of implied that she had passed away, but you know, for a competition that judges may not feel like satisfied with that, so that might affect the scoring.”

  Instead of the original ending, where the main character is assumed dead by the audience, Grimes creates a less grim fate for her. 

“I decided to have kind of like a like a something to cut the tension so it was going to be that moment of suspense where you’re kind of like, is she dead? Is she not? And then Donna, (played by Natalie Beit 25’) would pop up [to reveal that she is not dead.]”

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