Harlequins Float Out


The “Follies” pose in their costumes for "Crazy for You".

Bella Druckman, Arts and Leisure Editor

     After four years of dedication and hardwork, the Class of 2018 Harlequins have reached the end of their performance career at Saint Ignatius College Prep and they look onward to their futures.

       The class of 2018 has witnessed eight musicals cast, rehearsed, and performed with continuous effort from all participants. Mr. Bellie’s commitment throughout the four years of the Class of 2018’s career has enabled growth in singing, acting, and dancing skills for all the seniors. Between 2014 and 2018, Harlequins produced Shrek, Pride and Prejudice, Mary Poppins, The Great Gatsby, The Little Mermaid, The Matchmaker, Crazy for you and Peter and the Starcatcher.

      The seniors are sentimental, but excited for their next four years. Many seniors will take their passion for theatre into their college lives such as Andrew Tufano ‘18 at Millikin University and Grace Swanson at Northwestern University.

         Although many of the Harlequins class of 2018 plan to continue their harlequin interests, they continue to think about their past memories. Tufano said, “My funniest Harlequins memory was when I was performing at the state festival my freshman year in Shrek. During our second show someone packed up my costume before I needed it, so I was running around the backstage at U of I in blue tights looking for my pants and shirt for the next scene. Luckily I made it onstage in one piece!” Joseph Rosales ‘18 claims he will miss “the last performance when you are already nostalgic.”

Lucy Radke
The award the Harlequins received at Theater Fest in January of 2015.

The seniors look back fondly at the success they have worked towards throughout their four years. Lucy Radke ‘18 said, “My favorite Harlequins memory is when the cast of Shrek the musical found out we were going to Theater Fest. Nobody saw it coming, and we all jumped up and started screaming and cheering. Some of the seniors even started crying!”

       Kai Yearwood ‘18, remembered as the “dancing queen,” said her favorite memory was “when me and the other girls playing the ‘Follies’ in Crazy for You finally mastered our tap dance. It was such a great accomplishment I was so proud of us.”

The “Follies” pose in their costumes for “Crazy for You”.

      Although the Harlequins have already performed their last show, their influence will not disappear. “There is a stigma around theater kids that they are ’weird’ and ‘super out there’ and there is a negative connotation with that,” said Swanson, “I think if I were to have an impact on Harlequins it would be trying to break that stigma-yes we are weird and crazy, but what’s wrong with that?” Tufano was president of Harlequins for the 2017-2018 school year and said, “I treated everyone in the club with respect and tried to talk to as many people as possible.”

       Even though the seniors impacted the club, the club impacted them as well. “I’ve learned that I have some pretty solid leadership skills. Being a co-head was something I was really nervous about when I started, but now I feel confident in being a leader and all the skills that come with being one. I also learned how powerful teamwork is, especially when everyone is super focused and attentive,” said Carolina Garibay ‘18.
       Tufano said he realized his passion for theatre during Harlequins and he learned, “I have developed into a true showman and love performing. I love making people happy. That is my calling from God. When I perform I want people to hear the story and leave that theatre changed.”

         Besides the impact of Harlequins, the seniors will never forget about their director Mr. Bellie. Swanson recited a quote that Mr. Bellie taught the Harlequins: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” The quote embodies Mr. Bellie’s attitude toward the process of molding the Harlequins into the dedicated actors they are today. Similarly, Garibay said, “Mr. Bellie stresses the importance of telling the story in our productions, so that’s the common goal both the actors and crew work towards.”

The 2014-2015 Harlequins cast that went to Theatre Fest during the Class of 2018’s freshman year.

      As the seniors storm out they leave many encouraging words of support for incoming freshmen. Tufano said, “Everyone is there out of love and support and just know that if you don’t make a show freshman year don’t give up. It’s not you it’s the show that we are casting. If a character doesn’t match you. It’ll be okay. Join the crews. The crew members are always welcomed and just as involved as cast members so just come on a join the family!”  Rosales said, “The audience has no idea what to expect, so you literally cannot mess up.”

     Many seniors view Harlequins as a way to find oneself. Radke said, “Be as loud and crazy as you can- you will make the show great, and everybody else is doing it too.” Regarding crew members, Caribay said, “There’s something for everyone on every crew, if being a crew member is what you’re interested in, so don’t worry about not finding something you’ll like or are good at, because you will definitely find it.”

       Although the Harlequins leave on a high note, they claim what they will miss most is their Harlequins family. “I will miss the family. The bonding and traditions we have. We do so many pre-show traditions that I truly believe will never be forgotten,” said Tufano.