Impromptu Hits the ODA Stage!

The cast of Impromptu. Bottom row (L to R): Daniel Pivonka, Janum Trivedi, Kelli Bagwell, Cammy Harris. Top row (L to R) Maria Massaro and Nikki LaSalla.

The cast of Impromptu. Bottom row (L to R): Daniel Pivonka, Janum Trivedi, Kelli Bagwell, Cammy Harris. Top row (L to R) Maria Massaro and Nikki LaSalla.

Four actors sit on a dark stage, confusedly awaiting the arrival of their stage manager who has called them all together. Suddenly, the stage lights come up, but there is no one around to direct them. Becoming increasingly aware that an audience is present, they realize what their task is, to improvise.

This plot is from the play Impromptu written by Tad Mosel. The play features four students who have received the task from their stage manager to act out a play about life, without having lines or scripts. The play is fun, but serious – and scripted – and the ODA community is excited that this will be the first show of the year. ODA senior Nikki LaSalla is in the process of directing this production, taking her flair for theater one step beyond on-stage performing.

Nikki has more passion and dedication for theater than many other young actors. Since she fist entered ODA in middle school, Nikki has portrayed numerous characters in both the plays and musicals, holding many leading roles. Because of her talent for  singing, she managed to land a leading role as early as her sophomore year in ODA’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a female version of Charlie.

This year Nikki was given the opportunity to have a student directed play that will be showing this fall. This play is completely run and directed by Nikki, which means she has created the cast, stage direction, and is in charge of putting the performance together.

The cast of this play is a very small group, which all of the actors involved value. Senior Janum Trivedi says, “I have always loved theater, and I saw this play as a good opportunity. I love the intimacy and control that exists in a small cast. We have a lot of independence in forming our characters.”

Nikki was initially prompted to direct her own show because of her strong enthusiasm for theater, and her desire to learn and grow as a thespian. Now, she loves directing, and thinks it will help her with her future acting endeavors.

“I wanted to be able to experience all aspects of theater, not just my acting and singing,” Nikki explains. “It’s interesting to manage the cast and instruct other people on how to portray their characters. It’s different because all I usually have to worry about is controlling myself.”

The experience of directing a play has been very new to Nikki, and each new obstacle is fun to conquer. She is constantly learning unfamiliar aspects of theater, which has made the process all the more exciting for her.

Though there have definitely been challenges, Nikki has loved every moment, and cannot wait for the show to begin its run.

“It’s nice to be able to work with such a close and devoted group of students, because we get to play ideas off of each other. I’m so excited for people to see this show, and so proud of my cast!”

Congratulations, Nikki! We can’t wait to see Impromptu!