The UCSD Drama and Debate team put on four performances of "BEES ARE IN THE PARK" directed by Carlos Tayag last week in the school auditorium. Written by Bobby Keniston, the play featured a series of interlocking vignettes led by eight characters in varying stages of life.
The UCSD team cast 10 students, who were divided into two performance groups. There were eight students per cast, including a would-be stepdad, a grumpy little girl, an overprotective mother and her son, two teenagers in love, and an elderly couple.
"Cast 1" featured Gianna Villafuerte, Kala McDonald, Kiara Haist, James Vuong, Bridget Savage, JR Go, Gilmar Tapaoan, and Aleutia Peters. They made their debut on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. for an in-school performance. They rounded out the performances on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m.
"Cast 2" featured many of the same actors, but introduced Denali Adams and Zara Alvarado into the fold. The second cast performed on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at the 1 p.m. matinee.
Carlos Tayag led the team, which practiced everyday after school for two hours during the months leading up to opening "night."
Before the Saturday evening performance, Tayag commended the team for its hard work, especially the actors who memorized two different roles. "I'm so proud of these guys," he said. "They did awesome."
Upon the conclusion of the final performance, the actors remained onstage for a "Q and A" session, during which several theatregoers complimented the performers for both humorous and emotional performances.
Tayag agreed the Saturday evening performance was particularly touching. "They even got me a little bit tonight," he said. "I've seen this 1,000 times and I was over in the corner trying not to cry."
Elizabeth Mears, Erica Andres, Rissa Bucaneg, Alleri Tungul, Leeann Mears, and Ghea Trinidad offered additional backstage support for the performances. The Aleutian Arts Council sponsored the event and provided refreshments.
Led by Coach Lauren Snyder, the Drama and Debate team's next event will be a live debate Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the UCSD auditorium. All are welcome to attend.
For those who missed this performance, "BEES ARE IN THE PARK" will be shown in its entirety on Channel 8 TV this Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.