The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The Inside Scoop on “Legally Blonde”

Read all about our theater company’s next production… What, like it’s hard?

To the Franklin High School Theatre Company, Legally Blonde is a labor of love. With only a few weeks left until opening night, participants eat, sleep, and breathe the show’s pink essence while putting in rewarding hours of work every single day. But why is this show so important? Let’s hear from some of the cast and crew about what the FHSTC means to them!

Stage manager Rocco Marano stands with tech director Mr. Ryan Fitzgerald. (Ritika Gandla)

Senior Rocco Marano, one of the assistant stage managers, describes his position as “a very big position, because of the amount of work me, Kirstyn, and Elle have to do. There’s a lot of reports and running around. It definitely made me a better public speaker and worker. [It] has also helped me gain more leadership skills which will help me in college.” Sophomore Kirstyn Towne spoke about stepping into her older sister’s shoes; FHS alum Caelyn Towne stage-managed the FHSTC for three years. Towne said she’s aware of things, for she “[has] to be aware of every tech part of the world like lighting, sound, and costuming.”

FHS senior Brandi Dumas stars as sorority girl turned Harvard student Elle Woods. Dumas recalls her first reaction to seeing the cast list.

“It’s kind of a funny story. When the cast list came out, I was in the middle of watching Barbie in theaters, but I knew the cast list was going to come out while I was watching the movie so I had my phone pulled up on my lap and immediately upon opening it, I burst into tears. It was a really big deal for me; it’s been something I’ve wanted for a long time. This has always been such a dream show and a dream role, so [there were] tears, a lot of excitement, and gratitude for sure. Elle grows to have a lot more respect for the hardcore, serious side of her that people don’t really see at first. It’s been inspiring if nothing else to get to step into that and live with those traits and apply them to my own day to day. It sends a very powerful message, to girls specifically, that you can be yourself while embracing the feminine parts of you. I hope that message is portrayed on stage through the dialogue and how we portray these characters as they go on this journey.”

In addition to playing sorority sister Margot, sophomore Bella Nuckolls understudies Elle. “It’s definitely hard balancing the two, but I have help from Brandi. It was very exciting finding out I had both of those roles, but it’s a super stressful part that’s worth it. I would describe Margot as kind of dumb, flirty, and very outgoing. We have a lot of fun dancing and there’s not one song that isn’t catchy.”

Professor Lowell, played by Aiden Sheppard, shows off his music binder. (Ritika Gandla)

Ky Ball, a senior, plays Vivienne Kensington. “[In previous years] we got the audition materials – probably like a month before school started – and auditions were in the first two-ish weeks before school. But this year, we got the audition materials at the beginning of the summer. Then we had audition workshops with Mr. Grossman and Mr. Santini, so the cast list was already out mid-August.”

Ball had been a part of a Legally Blonde production this past summer with the Hopkinton Center for Arts, so she had some experience with the performance material. When asked about her first reaction to the FHSTC cast list, she replied “Funny story, I was actually at my friend’s house to watch a movie, because I was so anxious about the cast list being released, and it kept getting delayed. We were told like 12:30, then 4:30, I don’t even remember, it was so crazy! I was at my friend’s house and I saw the cast list, I saw the little spoiler and I saw my name, and I literally burst into tears. I saw my name next to Vivienne and I was bawling my eyes out in my friend’s basement because I was so happy. It was one of the best moments that I’ve ever experienced.”

Warner Huntington III is played by senior Jake Swenson. “I had never acted before [until Cinderella], but for this show, I definitely spent a lot more time with the music and I came out a lot more prepared than I did last year. We do a killer job as a cast. If you know anything about Legally Blonde going into it, you’re going to be blown away, and if you don’t, you’re also going to be blown away.”

The ruthless Professor Callahan is played by senior Colin Joyce. “It’s very hard,” Joyce notes. “I never get cast as the villain, but it’s kind of fun to be a jerk on stage. It’s a new experience.”

Senior Sarah Dumas, who plays Delta Nu in Act One, shines as Brooke Wyndham in Act Two. When asked about the most intense part of the rehearsal process, Sarah responded, “I jump rope and sing at the same time. Kind of building that skill, and I run track so I have a bit of a fitness background, but it’s harder than I thought.” The UPenn commit is going to miss the company, but plans to not leave musical theatre completely in her past, for she hopes to participate in a college musical.

John Fitzhenry, who plays Emmett, runs “Chip on my Shoulder” with director Mr. Grossman. (Lexa DeFlaminio)

Panther TV host, senior John Fitzhenry, plays Emmett Forrest. This is John’s first show with the FHSTC.

“I was definitely a bit nervous at first but as soon as I walked in, everyone was so welcoming,” John notes. “I immediately fell in love with the show and the company, and it was a great way to get more involved in the FHS community. The role I play is a quirky law student who somehow manages to steal Elle’s heart and really find success as a lawyer. Emmett resonates with me because I’m not outgoing, but I’ve been able to make some great friendships and can just be myself, especially within the FHSTC.”

Junior Eden Donovan, who plays Chutney, is also the company’s social media manager. “I’m a big fan of tech week. I like that week a lot. A lot of people hate it, but I like it a lot.”

Tech week, the week leading up to opening night, is filled with tweaks and tears. Donovan continued about her role as social media manager. “It’s been going great. I actually love it. I’ve been making all the graphics to post on social media and the captions. It’s very fun.” Alongside doubling as a Harvard student, Donovan’s also portraying the angry Chutney. The character’s part in the movie was very memorable for her, and it has been a process to get those feelings across while nailing the comedic timing required of the part.

The set is stunning and, as senior Will Heater describes it, “tall.” There’s a giant catwalk extension in the auditorium in addition to some very creative lighting. The set designer is the company secretary, senior Hope Guanga.

“The only thing I will say is that we will be having projectors, which is a pretty cool aspect,” Guanga (who also plays Delta Nu Leilani) teases.

Aubrey Stott – who plays DA Joyce Riley – will share the stage with her dog, Ruby. (Ritika Gandla)

Additional cast members spilled some insider details as well. Taylor Stacy says that she incorporates sorority mannerisms into her daily life. Grace Olah describes herself as a very bubbly person and hyping that up helps her bring Delta Nu Serena to life. The two serve as dance captains and have had a lot of fun with the challenging – but very energetic – numbers in the show. Mia Quinn, who plays Paulette, was very excited to work the cast and explore her character’s ability to come out of her shell. Reece Lorenzo, who plays Kyle the UPS worker, is excited to navigate the intricacies of delivery and staging. Riley Macdonald described many scenes as relying on the ensemble to make them feel alive during the staging. Charlie Nash said that playing Grandmaster Chad really had to do with embracing the “extra” mentality of the frat boys in the show. Ashley Mosher (the titular role in last year’s Cinderella) is thrilled to experiment with the vocal style of the show as she takes on the role of Pilar.

With a senior-heavy cast, many shared a bittersweet sentiment of missing their FHSTC community, but excited to make their last musical count whether it is on or off the stage. Andrew DiMatteo is excited to be involved as much as he can this year, with it being his first time on stage and continuing to help with the set. Amid the budget cuts affecting many art programs at FHS, students continue to pour a tremendous amount of work to make this show the best it can be.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness an incredible show put on by people who love what they do. The dancing is outrageous (choreographed by FHS alum Ms. Madison Harrington), the music is incredible, and there will be live dogs portraying Bruiser and Rufus onstage! It’s a great year for theatre in Franklin, so make sure to buy your tickets today.