Extra, Extra! Giles Debuts at Pied Piper Theater


Courtesy of Cosette Jenkins

Giles with his girlfriend, senior Cosette Jenkins, after his final performance as Morris Delancey in Disney’s Newsies at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

Alannah Post, Editor-in-Chief

While most seniors spent their first semester worrying about college applications or trying to avoid the deadly senioritis, Andrew Giles was beating up crippled kids.

Of course, Giles was not actually causing anyone any physical harm – but his character Morris Delancey in the Pied Piper Theater’s production of Disney’s Newsies certainly was, chasing around other kids and preventing them from protesting unfair price increases. The show premiered earlier in January, but Giles still remembers plenty from the experience. “Acting in character onstage was so magical… everyone brought a great amount of life to their characters,” he said on performing, proclaiming that Newsies is a personal favorite of his and he signed up to audition as soon as he knew the theater was putting it on.

This production was his first with the company, and Giles had some difficulties in particular with the character he was cast in. ” Offstage, I try to be as kind and caring as possible,” he admitted, “so getting into character as someone so vicious and ruthless was no simple task.” But he also states that the experience immensely improved his skills as a performer, along with being around people who share the same love for theater and acting, some of whom had been involved with Pied Piper for many years and were able to give their own advice. He says their guidance and knowledge gave him a different insight into acting and performing.

He also noted the differences between community theater versus acting in BDHS’s own drama club. For one, their venues are far larger than the school’s auditorium, seeing as they performed at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. “I feel a much stronger sense of family and togetherness with our school’s drama program,” he said, but also admits that filling seats is much easier when working with a community theater because their reach extends much further. At the end of the day, however, both groups provide the opportunity of self-expression and, “they’re both just extremely magical experiences.”

As with everything, nothing is guaranteed to ever go according to plan. Just like how the school’s production of Beauty and the Beast last spring had the fire alarm mishap, Giles recounted a few incidents during their shows that make for good stories, including a crutch that went flying into the orchestra pit during a fight scene in the first show. Luckily, no instruments or musicians were harmed, but in the second showing of the night, an actor was unfortunately kicked in the face and had to receive first aid, after which he quickly returned to the stage. “I seriously applaud that guy’s dedication to the performance,” he remarked.

Giles is incredibly thankful to his friends in the theater club, including teachers Mr. Dan Fiore and Ms. Ashley Abraham, and to The Roar for allowing him to express himself regarding the show.