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FUHS production “Secret in the Wings” wins best play in Orange County

Tara Patton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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CETA, or the California Educational Theatre Association, gives students the opportunity to participate in high school and middle school theatre festivals, as well as other events to guarantee high quality theatre education for all students.

FUHS was nominated and won best play in all of Orange County for the fall play, “Secret in the Wings.”

For junior Sydney Castiglione and senior Joefferry Wenderlich, being picked to perform in the CETA Festival was a huge honor, but also a huge pain.

“We had to rebuild the show, which had not been done in two months, and we basically had to rework the entire show because we lost one performer; we had to fill her spot and that was pretty difficult, but it’s such an incredible honor to be able to perform,” said Castiglione.

Students felt confident the play would be a success.

“We had a lot of confidence in our show, once found out we had been nominated we were very excited but also very intimidated as it is a lot of work, we had to rebuild the set, do the show and then take it all down again,” said Wenderlich. “It was a mixture of dread and excitement, although it was definitely worth it in the end.”

Junior Nickola Orr, feels that placing in the festival is not only a huge honor for the school,  but for Theater teacher Michael Despars and herself.

Junior Nickola Orr has stage makeup done before a performance. Photo by Pam Keller.

“Despars went to Fullerton and he told us that it was always a dream of his to win first place in the CETA Festival, and it means a lot that it was this show that got us first place,” said Orr. “This is my first show at Fullerton where I am a lead, so it meant a lot to me personally that the show that took first in CETA was my first show with a bigger role.”

Wenderlich was also excited about bringing home a win for Despars.

“I don’t know if Fullerton has ever gotten to the mainstage, I know we haven’t since Despars has been teaching here, so to win this award and be able to perform, not only for us, the cast and crew, but for Despars was a very unique opportunity,” Wenderlich said.

While the cast and crew were very excited about the CETA nomination, it did not come as a surprise to many that the show was a success with the CETA Judges.

Senior Joeffery Wenderlich walks on stage with emotion. Photo by Pam Keller

“I think we all saw the nomination coming, after we saw the scores. We almost had two perfect scores, so we all sort of assumed we would probably win. Of course, winning always feels good, so that was really fun,” said Castiglione. “I think a small part of us was kind of like ‘oh god we have to do this all again’ but luckily, ‘Secret in The Wings’ is such a special show, we all loved performing it and the whole cast and crew grew so close as well. It’s so cool that we [all got] back together to do it again.”

“Secret in the Wings” was not your typical play, and the unique way in which it was performed made it a hit with audiences and judges alike.

“I think Secret in the Wings is such a unique and weird show; it’s not just a play, it is a work of art, which I guess all plays are in their own way,” said Wenderlich. “But the way the characters move, or are set up and the combination of music and visuals, allows the audience a very unique experience and I think the CETA judges saw that and saw something that was worth being shared with the rest of California.”

“Secret in the Wings” was distinctive not only in performance but also in its direction.

Junior Sydney Castiglione stands in dramatic lighting. Photo by Pam Keller.

“This show was very student run and directed, it was really cool being able to put in feedback and input even in scenes our characters were not in. Everyone has their own voice and everyone is heard which really made this show so unique,” said Orr.

“This show is really cool because there is really never a time when I am off the stage, and everyone is running around backstage, even the technicians,” said Castiglione. “It’s such an ensemble based show, and I think the judges saw something in that and decided they wanted to represent that in the festival.”

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About the Writer
Tara Patton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Class of 2018. AP Photo and Journalism. Keith Haring enthusiast. Lover of literature, painting and photography. Aspiring artist.

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