Charter’s Performers Shine Bright at Winter Fantasy ‘22!

Olivia Ramos and Kara Warren

   On January 8th, hundreds spread through the theatre, searching for the perfect seat to view the stage, as the cheerful Christmas music fills the room. The curtains are drawn, and the lights become dimmer by the second. With this darkness, two people appear from the back right wing discussing clean up duties. Then, in the flash of lights, one of those students slowly approaches the mics and the first words of Winter Fantasy ring in your ears… 

   “Excuse me…what’s going on here?” The question that would be escaping the mouth of Cogsworth, the antagonist of the opening act, from Beauty and the Beast, played by Olivia Ramos. As she begins her lecture of how this is not  “A tick she needs in her tock”, the Lumieres come out of the wing the show begins. The singing and dancing to “Be Our Guest” brings the night into a cheerful mood, to be felt around the Theatre throughout the night. For Olivia, getting dragged to the kick line of all the opening act students, the audience is now starting to feel the joy and excitement of the night with the opening act ending. The bright smiles and laughter filled the stage from the Theatre 2 class performing “Be Our Guest.”

   Winter Fantasy has been a time consuming project since the first week of school for Charter’s Theatre class, especially for Ms.Sanford—the Director and teacher that would be knowing the ins-and-outs of the whole show. She exclaims that she was excited for this year since last year was quite overwhelming for her, as she was a first year teacher. She says, “I’m really impressed with all my classes, especially my Theatre 1 classes as they are stepping out of their comfort zone.” She really proved herself this year with the well-produced, and organized production.

    The next part of the production was a switch in emotions when Ms. Stacy’s dance class positioned themselves on the stage and prepared to convey an assortment of feelings to the audience. Taking a lyrical approach, the dance was performed to the song, “Somewhere Only We Would Know,” which left the audience in awe once the curtains closed. The transition from dance to the drama club forced students to change the vibe faster than you could believe! While the upbeat and colorful song, “Surf Crazy” filled the room, performers threw around beach balloons with wide smiles spread across their faces, all while twirling and spinning, to set the lively atmosphere.

    Ryan Berman’s monologue following these dance numbers would set the expectation level through the roofs, but he managed to do it! And soon after, the crowd was left speechless and filled with rosy cheeks. The performance was none other than, “Land of Lola,” conveying the art of drama and seduction. With the girls making their way to the stage fitted into their Santa costumes, they perfected the exaggerated performance with their sharp arms and flowing body. Each member of the audience couldn’t help but to scream as the girls completed their dance. And before the booming applause filled the Theatre, they each strutted upstage and gave their crowd one last look before the lights went dim. 

   A variety of acts & dances continued to amaze the audience, but soon enough Charter’s band made their way to the stage to play more festive melodies to close the night. Arguably the most passionate performance of the night, to “Cry Me A River” by Michael Buble, silenced the crowd in a heartbeat. From the pink sparkly skirts to the difficult flips and turns, the slow-to-fast dancing corresponded with the flow of the music creating a performance that appealed to the audience. 

   As Winter Fantasy gradually came to a close, the dance team finally made their appearance, whose act consisted of dancing to 2010 Christmas jams. With music from artists like Justin Bieber, the dance team showed organization in each step and movement. After leaving the crowd wanting more, the Theatre 3/4 kids performed the final act of the night. The students sang and danced to, “We Got The Beat,” one of the major classics that had everyone in high spirits before filling the parking lot. The interpretation of the Renaissance Period, dressed students in golden gowns, while dancing and cheering as if they were in a tavern. 

   One of the stars of the night, Emma Schenker, senior and President of Theatre, spoke out and expressed her final thoughts about this year’s production. “I loved Winter Fantasy! In all my years of drama this was by far the most fun I’ve had and the most proud I’ve felt afterwards. Everyone worked really hard and I think it actually ran pretty smoothly without too many issues.”

   With that, the night ended with laughs, smiles, and flowers given to the students performing by their friends and loved ones. Winter Fantasy had been a night at Charter like never before and for Ms. Sanford’s second production like this, the night proved successful.