There are a lot of variety shows around the region, but in Valparaiso there’s more than just a little song and dance. On Friday night Valparaiso High School’s Drama Club hosted their yearly event April Antics, which brings together students to show off their talents in a show that meshes singular acts and scripted segments. For 2015, the club put on ‘The Bachelor’ - a story about a student who decides to be on the TV show ‘The Bachelor’ in order to find a prom date. In between acting, singing, dancing, and even hula hooping, the students at VHS showed how much talent is thriving inside of one singular school.
April Antics is a staple at VHS and has consistently let the community see how talented their high-schoolers are, but this year the students were the ones who brought the show to the stage. For one of the first years ever April Antics was directed and written by two students - instead of a supervisor. Seniors Patrick Azar and Daniel Barajas took up the task to make April Antics better than it ever has been before, and worked diligently to make that happen.
“It took us about two weeks straight to get everything together for probably four or five hours a day.” Azar explained. “Not only did we have to write the script we had to figure out what order to put the acts in with blocking and all of that. After that we worked for about a month and a half with the actors on the script along with the acts. It was a lot to get together, but it’s paying off.”
Though the students might have taken the reigns behind the scenes, there was still one person around to make sure everything went as planned. Andrew Wolverton, the producer for April Antics, was a previous VHS student who was asked to come in and take creative control of the show. Even if Wolverton was technically in charge of the production, he credits the students for making it all happen.
“It’s so fulfilling to see that a show that was a trainwreck on Wednesday night transform into a successful show tonight.” Wolverton stated. “These kids are the most proactive kids that I’ve ever got the chance to work with. They know what they need to do and they go and get it done. For high schoolers to put on a semi-professional show is amazing and they proved how much their time was worth to show everyone how great they all are.”
While the workers backstage might have had a lot of things to prove, the students on stage were just as ready to show what they had to offer. Lindsey DeBoer and Emily Ahrendt, whom acted as the Parmesean sisters (think of the Kardashians) and were also a part of the talent portion said that April Antics is a unique way for the public to get to see what their classmates can do.
“April Antics is really here to show that some of the people you wouldn’t think would have an amazing talent actually can amaze you with it.” DeBoer stated. “It gives everyone a chance to be a part of something so amazing. It’s a great way to end the year and a great drama season.”
It was evident throughout the night that everyone’s hard work had paid off. The crowd loved every second of the night. They cheered and laughed during the whole show, from the scripted jokes to the energetic performances. During the ‘Uptown Funk’ closing number many of the audience members were out of their seats and dancing just as enthusiastically as the students on stage. After the show the cast members ran to their friends and family out to hear their congratulations in a crowded and stuffy hall. Karyn Custer-Jankowski, who was there to support her two daughters in the show, agreed with everyone else that 2015’s April Antics was incredible.
“It was just outstanding.” Custer-Jankowski exclaimed. “I love how the kids come out of their shells to show us how much talent they really do have. These kids have so much to offer and I’m so proud of every one of them.”
If you happen to have missed Friday night’s April Antics show there will be another show tonight at 7 pm in the auditorium. This year’s show moved up the bar higher than it ever has been before, so take advantage of the time that it’s here. You won’t regret it.