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The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

Fresh Off the Frosh: Bethel Park Falls Recap

Premiered February 15 – February 16
First-generation student Gaia played by Edna Tilahun (9) gets consoled by Owen Daly (9) playing Ash the fisherman. After years of helping his mom through her Alzheimers, Ash finally got to reflect on his life through his connection with Gaia. (Jaya Messer)

Two struggling marriages, a cheater, a high-achiever and the people who help them through it, twins finding their other half, a security guard working hard to restore her balance, a ghost, a blind woman trying to find a new way to see life, new parents finding comfort in one another, two stalkers falling for each other, and a woman with Alzheimers narrating it all. Bethel Park Falls tells the stories of how a park fostered connections between otherwise separate people.  

On the 15th and 16th of February, Bethel Park Falls aired as the 2024 underclassmen play. This year’s Frosh- a combined Freshman-Sophomore play-gave a cast of 17 freshmen and sophomores a chance to shine. The Frosh allows younger talent to be highlighted on a stage meant to introduce them to Grandview theater. 

“I thought this would be a good chance to get a main role in a production,” Elliott Kitashima, a freshman playing April in Bethel Park Falls, said. Kitashima portrayed the story of April, a student who’s struggling between her allegiance to a friend or academic honesty, as her second role at Grandview. 

With a limited number of characters, the Bethel Park Falls cast all had a prominent role in the story which led them each to take on more responsibility. The lack of an ensemble fostered a close environment for students to grow in a myriad of ways. 

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“We can become more connected through the rehearsal process,” freshman Matthew Korte, who played Sonny said. “It is also developing acting and having a fun time.”  

Students can add another production to their resume and the lessons they’ve been able to learn in that time, signifying the growth they’ll find in that time. Now, they have a better chance to get a lead role in the future. 

“I’ve learned that when you are performing, there isn’t one right way to do it. There’s so many different ways you can experiment with a character and as a person,” Kitashima said. 

Along with giving underclassmen more opportunities to act, the Frosh gives upperclassmen a chance to experience one of the other sides of productions, student directing. 

“I’ve learned how important it is to see the entire show as a whole and to know what the other people are doing so that you can go along with them,” senior and student director Joshua Wilson said.

Freshmen Matthew Korte, as Sonny, and Elliott Kitashima, as April, grow closer through attempting to build a fire without matches as their date goes awry. (Evie Hall)

When growing essential skills in theater, the cast and crew create a positive environment for everyone to be themselves. From funny fails on the stage to having to get a little more comfortable with your friends, the performers in the Frosh are what make it truly special.  

“It’s light hearted, it’s fun,” Korte said. “Then when you are actually rehearsing it becomes more serious and that’s also a good switch.”

Along with enjoying the unique atmosphere at rehearsal, the underclassmen appreciate the chance to take part in another show during their Grandview career.

“It means a lot to be a part of another production in such an amazing theater program,” Kitashima said. “I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to act and strengthen my acting skills, and be with the people I love.”

Wilson chose to direct alongside senior Abby Walden for the Frosh this year, despite his busy schedule. After seeing the impact his past student directors had on the trajectory of his theater career, Wilson wanted to do the same and have the chance of giving an unforgettable experience for this year’s students. 

Kari Rodriguez-Cortez (9) plays Brooke while walking out of Bethel Park with Gianna Loria (10) playing a blind woman named June.

“My favorite part is watching all the other people grow throughout,” Wilson said.  

Frosh is a place to expand his high school theater repertoire, but for underclassmen, it is the beginning of their own.   

“Being in the Frosh means having the theater family that I have become closer to,” Korte said. 

While the Frosh only showed for two days, it left a lasting legacy.

“[The Frosh] gets to show the upperclassmen who they’re leaving the program with,” Wilson said.

Whether it’s Kitashima, Korte, or Wilson, they all highly encourage students to get involved in the amazing theater program here. Whether it be making new friends or scouting for a possible future career, the Frosh will be close in their hearts. Even as it passes, theater is constantly putting on high-level shows like the Spring play and the Bravo productions. 

“I ended up loving it and it is one of the best experiences of my life so it could be one of yours,” Kitashima said.

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About the Contributors
Jaya Messer, Opinions Writer
Grade: I am in 9th Grade. Years on Staff: This is my first year on staff. What I am looking forward to most: I am looking forward to writing fun articles about all of my amazing opinions. My favorite personality is: I think my best quality is how creative I am.
Evie Hall, Opinions Writer
What grade are you in?  I am in the 12th grade. How many years have I been on Staff?  I have been on The Chronicle Staff for two years. What are you looking forward to the most? For my last year on staff, I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone on staff and growing as a newspaper! What is your favorite personality trait? My favorite trait in my personality is my positivity and my ability to cheer my friends up.

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