VHS fall play: It’s time to watch Nightwatch


Santia (left) stated, "I am super pumped to do such a nuance packed and mind boggling show. It really is an insane storyline. I’m so excited to work with this great cast, great cast, and great director!" Rocha (right) added, "Because it's a murder mystery, there's so much going on and it's hard to figure out who's to blame..." Photo by: Sarah Clench

Sarah Clench

Infographic by: Brooklyn Ross

The fall play put on by the Drama Department this year at Ventura High School is Night Watch, a mystery, based in a Manhattan townhouse, and the cast list is out.

About 49 people auditioned and the cast had to be narrowed down to a list of nine. These closed auditions were held at VHS on Sept. 12 in the Little Theatre and callbacks were Sept. 13, followed by the release of the final cast list on the morning of Sept. 14.

Stefoni Rossiter, the drama teacher and director of Night Watch, stated that, “Having a small group is tricky because we have so much talent at this school that it was a real challenge to get through the audition process, but the cast is very strong.”

These nine characters are being played by junior Talia Walsh as Elaine Wheeler, senior Louis Santia as John Wheeler, junior Ashlynn Vaglica as Blanche Cooke, freshman Henry Oaks as Appleby, senior Bridget Boland as Helga, junior Sophie Rocha as Doctor Lake, senior Max Quintal as Lieutenant Walker, senior Omar Al-Bawab as Vanelli, and sophomore Truman Soden as Hoak.

Al-Bawab said, “I’ve never been in a play besides the elementary and middle school performances that most people do so I’m super stoked on getting the opportunity to do something so novel!”

Quintal also commented that, “Being a senior this year makes this play sort of special, and also the role I have is the biggest I’ve had over the time I’ve done these.” In regards to Walsh’s character, she stated, “She’s going to be in a lot of scenes which is going to be a challenge because that’s a lot of lines but I’m really going to be focusing on this.”

Cast as the German housekeeper, Boland said that, “If I can manage to get my accent to fall somewhere between Heidi Klum and Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll be satisfied. The accent is what I’m most nervous for. I’m terrified that my high school legacy will be ‘Bridget Boland: Record Holder for World’s Worst German Accent.’”

Rocha commented on her character, “I think that’s one of the biggest challenges is seeing where my character fits into this big complicated puzzle. It’s going to be interesting getting into the mindset of Doctor Lake and see how she thinks.”

Santia (left) stated, “I am super pumped to do such a nuance packed and mind boggling show. It really is an insane storyline. I’m so excited to work with this great cast, great cast, and great director!” Rocha (right) added, “Because it’s a murder mystery, there’s so much going on and it’s hard to figure out who’s to blame…” Photo by: Sarah Clench

According to Rossiter, the last times the theatre department has done a play with a mysterious storyline was “Witness for the Prosecution” in 2012 and the “Curse of Frankenstein” three years before that.

As Night Watch is both a play and a movie, with slightly different endings, Vaglica said, “I’m really excited because it’s such a mysterious show and I don’t even know the true ending. I’ve only seen the movie so I’m really just excited to work with it and it’s such a small cast so Ms. Rossiter is really gonna have time to go deep with every single person…”

Prior to reading the full script, Soden commented, “What I’m most excited for about being in this production is finding out the ending…”

The play will be shown Thursday Nov. 8 to Saturday Nov. 10 at 7 p.m., Thursday Nov. 15 to Saturday Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., and Sunday Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.

On a last note, Oaks commented, “Come see [Night Watch], ladies and gentlemen. There are like eight different shows so if you’re not at one, I’ll be very disappointed in you.”