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 Falcon Playhouse prepares for musical ‘Anastasia’

SRHS Falcon Playhouse student actors rehearse for the upcoming production of “Anastasia.” (courtesy photo)

 Falcon Playhouse prepares for musical ‘Anastasia’

By Patricia Overton

Scripps Ranch High School’s (SRHS) Falcon Playhouse will present “Anastasia” the musical March 16-25. The play was Written by American playwright and five-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally, with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynne Ahrens.

Inspired by the first 20th Century Fox animated feature, Falcon Playhouse will take its audience on a mysterious and fantastical tale about a girl named Anya, who might just be the surviving daughter of Czar Nicholas of Russia.

Follow Anya as she travels by train to Paris, hoping to remember her past and possibly discover so much more. This musical will take the audience on a journey to various places while Anya voyages through two countries. The show will also have gorgeous costumes and royal ball gowns fit for a grand Russian dance.

Anya, who will be played by Mika’la Chiaco, is an orphan girl who suffers from amnesia and is forced to become a street sweeper in order to survive. Along the way, she meets two friends, Dmitry and Vlad, who help her on her journey. Dmitry will be played by Demian Deonarine, while Noah Valdez will be playing the role of Vlad.

“Anastasia” will be the second show of the season, and the entire production is being designed by the students. To help bring this show to life, there will be a cast and crew of more than 80 students working hard to prepare for opening night.

SRHS theater director Patrick Garcia described the set design.

“In past shows, the set design is usually something that I create and get input on, and this time it’s completely student-designed. In fact, the entire thing is student designed for ‘Anastasia,’” he said. “I have one student, Michael Chen, who is in my technical theater class 3-4, and he’s showing an apt for wanting to design. I also have a young lady named Jay Butcher who is working with him, and she does a lot of the colors and visualization of what it looks like finished. So, between the two of them, they are designing the set for the show and then they work with me as the director, and we collaborate together.”

The musical production poster was also created by an SRHS student, Nathaniel Feria.

The students are meeting twice a week with vocal director Marielena Teng, who has been helping them prepare their voices for the musical.

“The music for this one is really pretty and will have a three-part and sometimes four-part harmony,” said Ashley Abert, Falcon Playhouse publicist.

The students may gain more recognition for their hard work and talent.

“We are considering submitting this musical for the Broadway San Diego Awards this year, to try and see if we can get some of our students selected to be part of the awards,” Garcia said. “We’ve had a pretty good history with it in the past.”

Scripps Ranch elementary and middle school students will also get the opportunity to watch the performance.

“Some students from two elementary and one middle school from the Scripps Ranch cluster will be coming: Dingeman, Jerabek, and Marshall Middle School. In addition, during our student preview, our understudies will be performing, so we’re going to open it for the parents of those understudies to come see the show,” Garcia said.

This romantic and adventure-filled show will be running March 16-25. Tickets are available on the Falcon Playhouse website: bit.ly/3jKGDOx.

Later this year, SRHS will host the Improv Fest in which district-wide high school improv teams will be participating on May 6.

“Improv Fest is a district-wide event that kind of disappeared, and so we wanted to try to bring that back with the support of the San Diego Unified Visual Arts Department. Anyone can come and watch, but seating is limited,” Garcia said.

The Falcon Playhouse will also be preparing for one last show this school year, “Our Town,” which will be held in the SRHS Black Box theater on May 24-26.

For more information on events, visit the Falcon Playhouse social media at Instagram: srhsfalconplayhouse, Twitter: falconplayhouse, TikTok: @falconplayhouse, www.falconplayhouse.com.