Students audition for upcoming TJ production “Connected”

Junior+Juliana+Gruver+auditions+for+Ms.+Lowery+with+a+rendition+of+%22I+Ate+the+Divorce+Papers%22

Junior Juliana Gruver auditions for Ms. Lowery with a rendition of "I Ate the Divorce Papers"

Mei Baek, Staff Member

On Wednesday, March 9, students lined up in front of the Black Box theatre to audition for roles in the upcoming Jefferson production, “Connected” by Lia Romeo. Each auditioner was judged by AP Music Theory, Drama and Choir teacher Jennifer Lowery, as well as two other students, on a short monologue of their choice.

For some students, a role in the upcoming play would be one of their first experiences as an actor or actress. This is true for sophomore Masha Goykh, who auditioned with a touching and funny monologue called “I Need Detention” from the play “Ghosts of Detention.” Goykh is head of costumes for Jefferson Drama, but chose to audition as an actor.

“I’m interested in the production because I’m part of drama, and there isn’t much costume stuff to do,” Goykh said. “I just wanted to be a part of it.” Goykh auditioned for the role of Scott, a gay teenage character in the play.

However, the auditions are routine for other students, who have had plenty of experience in Jefferson’s Drama program. Junior Juliana Gruver has been involved in theater since middle school, and “Connected” would be her sixth Jefferson theater production. For her audition, Gruver performed a reading of the monologue “I Ate the Divorce Papers,” a funny and touching script.

The actors selected by the drama teacher will go through their first read through of the play on Monday. “Connected” actually has a more personal connection to Jefferson, not only because its characters are young people living in the digital age, but also because Lia Romeo, the writer, is a friend and old roommate of Ms. Lowery. The play uses different stories from different adolescents to capture the effect of technology on our everyday lives.

“It’s basically about how the internet ruins your life,” sophomore Anyesha Majumdar said. Majumdar also auditioned on Friday with a reading of “Juniper’s Monologue”.

A girl becomes an overnight celebrity after an embarrassing viral video. Another with a social media obsession meets a boy who disconnected himself from technology. A gamer creates an role-playing game (RPG) persona but loses control when she agrees to meet someone in real life. A teacher and a student have a chance meeting on an online dating site. Romeo’s play addresses the many temptations and opportunities teenagers find on the Internet, from social media addictions to viral videos to roleplaying to online dating, and portrays the awkwardness of being a teenager as well as the potentially corrupting effect of technology very accurately. With talented actors and a striking plot, “Connected” will be one must-see performance when the actors take the stage at the end of April.