Spotlight on IASAS Drama: Las Mananitas

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Writer: Tricia W.

Visual: Kailani W.

Editor: Ishani S., Justin S.

Every year, ISM sends out amazing actors and actresses to participate in IASAS CulCon. This year, with the looming threat of the Novel Coronavirus, CulCon sadly had to be conducted online. However, this did not stop our amazing IASAS Drama delegates from creating a beautiful and heartfelt play, Las Mananitas.

Directed by the amazing Ms. Monsod, La Mananitas was loosely based on the book The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea. The book is about Big Angel, who Bernardo V. (12) describes as “an old Mexican man approaching his 63rd birthday and his death. Angel has an advanced case of bone cancer. A strong and proud man, he mourns his body’s fall from grace as death approaches.” 

Putting the play together had ups and downs for the entire cast. “What I found to be the most challenging part of putting the play together would be cutting the scenes,” says Holly S. “We had many scenes or lines that were awfully hilarious, meaningful, and did help build a stronger relationship with the person on stage and the audience.” 

The sentiment was echoed by Bernardo, who said “The real world has real limitations, this pained me.”

Despite the downs, the cast created many happy memories through the production of the play, as well. “Coming into rehearsal would truly be the highlight of my day,” Holly remarked. 

Dean, a sophomore, agreed, “The first time the cast met outside of school no one treated me like an outsider.” He continued, “They were extremely nice to me and actually showed interest in getting to know me better.” The cast definitely bonded together; Ms. Monsod even poignantly referred to them as a “familia.” 

The “familia” sentiment is evident in a memory Ms. Monsod shared with us. “Our first day of rehearsal, the cast decided that the scene from the book where the family gets into bed would be the final scene of the play. They really worked to pack themselves like sardines onto two combined platforms so they could hug each other.” What a sight that would’ve been!

From all these narratives of happy and frustrating memories from the cast, the play truly was a labour of love. “It was just so intimate and beautiful,” Wonyoung, a freshman theatre student commented when asked about the experience of watching the play. “You could really tell they worked hard on it.”

We asked the cast for tips for any student actors and actresses and here’s what some of them have to say: “When you start a play, you need to make sure you put your heart and soul into it,” says Avery, 11. “Commit, take risks, do your homework, be generous,” says Ms. Monsod. “Focus on improving yourself all the time,” says Holly. We can’t wait for next year’s IASAS Drama performance!