By Frankie Mesec ‘20

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is an area which we call… ‘The Twilight Zone.’”

This year, the Brother Rice Drama Club is performing “The Twilight Zone.” There will be laughs, thrills, and chills to be had.

Now, enough about the advertisement. We will come back to that later.

As a cast member, I am having fun with the show. This is my fourth year in the club, so I have seen how this club has evolved over time.

One big difference in the club was the cast and crew. This year is filled with all new people, which is weird for me since the last three years were all the same people. I got used to those people; they felt like family. Now with them gone, it doesn’t feel the same.

It is weird to adjust to some of the newbies, but I’ve been helping them learn the ropes of the club.

One thing I am very excited about in the show is that I got a major role this year. Since the graduated cast were good actors, they usually got all the main roles. With them gone, it left room for others to take the spotlight.

Director Chris Valles said, “Although there was some uncertainty due to most of the cast and crew graduating last year, I think we have found our footing with a wonderful new set of talented people.”

It has been a lot more work taking on a bigger role, but it has helped me improve my acting and my cooperation with the other cast members.

The Drama Club makes their shows from scratch in the cafeteria. Students write and direct the shows, collect and make the props, design and construct the backgrounds, and do all the other behind the scenes work. Mr. Rolence is there to help and moderate our work.

Everything in the shows is our blood, sweat, and tears, and we take a lot of pride in it. It really shows in every production we do, and the feeling is amazing. This is a big reason why I keep coming back to this club every year.

Mr. Rolence, the club moderator, said, “Every year, I go through the shock and denial, the anger, the bargaining, the depression, and then the upward turn of acceptance. On a serious note, doing these plays every year is a lot of fun.”

He also added, “Starting from scratch every year is challenging, and this year, we have an almost entirely new group, some with experience, many without.  That said, watching the group work so hard, seeing the project come together, seeing these kids gain confidence: it’s my favorite part of the job.  I find it very rewarding.”

One significant change this year concerned the directing of the play, both are new directors for the show, with one being his first drama club show. Our two directors, juniors Seamus Quinn and Chris Valles, have done a lot of work thus far in the club, and it shows.

Valles said, “It’s an incredible new experience. Never in a million years would I have imagined I would be in the position I am in now. I love it immensely and wish I would have found it sooner. Most people spend years in the club before they have the opportunity to be director. To be made a director my first year is an incredible honor. I think this will be the best show yet, and one that people will be talking about for years to come.”

Seamus Quinn has been in the club for three years and has been the star of the show every year. This year, he will be directing the show.

Quinn said, “Being a director can be extremely stressful and frustrating, but in the end, it develops into a very rewarding experience. It teaches one to find the middle ground when working with another director and to work realistically with the tools at hand.”

He said, “All in all, I think the show is going well. Yes, we’ve had a few hiccups here and there, especially logistically wise, but I have no doubt we should be able to pull off a fantastic show if everyone does their part.”

Grant Sibley has been an alumni of Brother Rice drama club for two years now. He graduated in 2018, and the last show he was in was “Fargo.” This year, he has returned to the club to help out in the tech parts of the show.

Grant Sibley said, “There’s a lot of nostalgia factor for sure. It’s nice to be around familiar faces and contribute to something that I’m personally so close to.”

Mr. Rolence said, “It’s as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow; between science and superstition. It lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.  Be prepared: The Twilight Zone is going to break new ground for the Drama Club. It’s our most ambitious project yet.”

“The Twilight Zone” performances begin with opening night, Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m., with evening shows to follow on Friday and Saturday nights, March 20 and 21, also at 7:30 p.m.  As usual, there will be a Saturday matinee at 3:00 p.m. as well.