Theatre to Perform “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

By Mara Shapiro

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Theatre’s Advanced Theatre Studio class will be peforming their annual Portraits production, this year’s being “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Tuesday, May 22 at 4 and 7:30 p.m.  in the Black Box Theatre.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is based on the critically acclaimed novel by Stephen Chbosky about a boy named Charlie (sophomore Daniel Bedoya) who struggles with finding himself during his freshman year of high school. The motion picture is set to be released on September 21, 2012 and will star Emma Watson (“Harry Potter” franchise) and Logan Lerman(“Percy Jackson” series).

Theatre Director Andrew Sinclair chose “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” because he feels that the storyline relates to students.

“I think many students will identify with the characters, situations and conflicts that fill the text,and our halls, each day.  This is one [of those] moments when students will see characters their own age, and who are dealing with similar issues, on the Niles West Theatre stage.  Plus, this fall a film adaptation of the text will be coming to theatres, so we wanted to showcase our version before audience’s experienced the film,” Sinclair says.

Junior Sarah Meehan feels that students should attend because the show is unique.

“Students should attend, because it’s not like any other show we’ve done… [the] final outcome should be pretty interesting to watch, because it would be cool to see just how we made [the book] able to perform on a stage,”Meehan says.

Senior Anahita Karimi feels that students should attend because students will be able to relate to the plotline.

“They should attend because it’s about regular high school kids and the problems Charlie, the main character, faces are problems all of us at some point have to face or have witnessed someone else face. And it’s pretty cool cause we took an entire book and made a play and you don’t see that every day,” Karimi says.

The show is a free production. Students who will be acting in the play are  sophomores Lila Gilbert, Sheryar Habib, Daniel Bedoya, Surdeep Chauhan, and Will Ranney; juniors Sam Elkin, Sarah Meehan, Aria Caldwell, Merrick McWherter, Rudy Newman, and Chris Tyler; and seniors Marina Spasova, Rachel Flink, Anahita Karimi, Jason Magel, Ashley Pagett, Katie Buckley, Joe Anderson, and Kristen Rowland.

Sinclair has personal connections to the story as well.

“A few years ago, one of my friends gave me a copy of this book for my birthday.  I fell in love with it instantly; I had never read a book that seemed so authentically like the students I teach every day.  In graduate school, I took a class in literary adaptation and chose to adapt the first 20 pages into a script.  Since that experience, it has been my dream to adapt the entire book into a piece of theatre.  That became our mission for this semester of Advanced Theatre Studio.  The entire course has been devoted to adapting this book into a piece of dramatic literature,” Sinclair says.