By Michelle Pelletier Marshall
---- — BYFIELD — The curtain goes up tonight on the play “The Love of Three Oranges,” performed by nearly 40 Triton Regional High School students who have been practicing since the start of school to present this modern comedic fairy tale for all ages.
Triton senior Nathan Sabatini plays Prince Tartaglia who falls under the spell of an evil witch and is fated to fall in love with three oranges. Accompanied by his faithful servant, Truffalbino, played by 11th-grader Hannah Cagney, the prince sets out on a journey filled with action, adventure and love and gets a big surprise when he locates his fateful oranges.
The prince encounters the evil trio on his quest: Minister Leandro played by Chris Beal; the evil princess played by Kristen Siebert; and Fata Morgana, the evil witch played by senior Mara Spears. The two dim-witted minions, Maddie Solomon as Smeraldina and Erin Volpone as Brighella, also cross the path of Prince Tartaglia in his travels. The story is narrated by Ana Perreault, who is a junior at the high school.
Sha Riordan, the school’s theater teacher and the show’s production supervisor, said that the theater group first saw this “fairly obscure play” when it was performed by students from Danvers High School at last year’s theater festival semi-finals.
“We were inspired by the performance and from then on were enthusiastic about making it our own,” Riordan said.
“The best part about this performance is that this year a lot of freshmen came forward to join in and can be mentored by our senior crew,” she said. Performing in this piece will also prove useful for the younger set, she explained, because they will become accustomed to extreme slapstick comedy, which will be needed in the school’s spring presentation of “Young Frankenstein.”
Additional cast includes: Kailey Brown, Shannon Dalton, Jackie Gillespie, Sandie Jankowski, James Kay, David Kwiatkowski, Hope Leonard, Michelle Martens, Hannah McIsaac, Arelis Mercado, Mari Odoy, Jess Ouellette, Austin Pasek, Taylor Ramsey, Maddie Schmuch, Justine Searle, Cecilia Shelter, Danni Umanita, and Emily Winnerman. Kaylin Blaney served as the stage manager, Scott Buckless as the lights and sound crew chief, and Emma Cashman was the prop crew chief.
The show is under the direction of Mary House, who was hired by the district to be the director. John Flynn, technical director, and Lisa Johnson, costumer, also contributed significantly to the preparations for the play.
There are three performances in the auditorium at the Triton Regional High School of “The Love of Three Oranges,” starting tonight at 7, and followed by shows on Friday and Saturday nights, both at 7. General admission tickets, available at the door, are $8, with $5 tickets for seniors and students. A $15 three-show pass is also available.