Fall play cast demonstrates versatility in ‘Olympiaganza’

The Greek mythology-based play showcased the many talents of EGHS students.


Katlyn Schwarz

The cast of the fall play performs Thursday, Sept. 20.

Katlyn Schwarz, Staff Reporter

It was opening night. Anyone passing by the Elk Grove High School Theater on Sept. 20 could easily hear shouts of joy emitting from within.

Whether it was energy, excitement or sadness emitting from the stage, the work put into this production was a whirlwind of emotions. This particular Thursday night was the premiere of the EGHS fall play, “The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza.” Although the EGHS Theater has hosted numerous plays throughout its 52 years as a school, “Olympiaganza” was unique in comparison to other productions.

Most fall plays typically entail students acting out lines with beautiful set designs and backdrops. “Olympiaganza,” however, featured so much more. Students with a wide range of skills were given the opportunity to showcase their individual talents within the play, making the production stand out among others.

“We try to create an atmosphere were everyone’s creativity can be heard,” fall play director and EGHS English teacher Chuck Cavazos said.

Being the versatile play it is, “Olympiaganza” was saturated with student-led choreographies. The opening scene, for instance, was one huge dance number. The sound of each foot hitting the stage in perfect rhythm with the song reverberated throughout the theater, causing audience members to clap along.

Senior Melanie De La Cruz had the opportunity to choreograph one of the many dances within the production. Her creation appeared during the scene involving Pandora’s Box.

“I loved how all of the cast personified what I had wanted them to be,” De La Cruz said of her original dance production. “I loved it.”

In addition to dancing, sophomore Alfred Sawyer sang a musical performance. After his character Orpheus’s girlfriend, Eurydice, had been bitten and poisoned by a snake, Orpheus followed her down to the Underworld. He then serenaded a love song to bribe his way across the River Styx.

Sawyer’s song was accompanied by senior Raechel Zoellick, who plucked a ukulele during the performance.

“The cast and crew are super creative, so the ukulele bit was one of many parts of the show that were added,” Zoellick said in a direct message interview via Snapchat. “We thought it really amped up the comedy of the play.”

Not only did the show engage the audience, but each cast member had a small part in the way that it was performed. A few members of the EGHS band plus the Orchesis squad contributed to the multi-faceted fall play production. Orchesis’ role in the play brought the Battle of Athens and Sparta to life through dance.

Senior cast member Amber Bretana, who played Aphrodite, said “Olympiaganza” set the bar high for future fall plays at EGHS.

“I feel like I’m setting something up for the kids who are younger than me who are going to be seniors next year, or even freshmen,” Bretana said. “It’s like I’m making it better for them.”