Last modified: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:52 PM EST Lynn English High School junior produces, directs show at Salem

's Griffen Theatre By Laura Paine / For the Item Marysa Angelli knows a thing or two about theater and when the theater department at Lynn English High School opted not to enter into the High School Drama Festival, the junior decided to produce, direct and act in her own presentation of The Dining Room, on stage at Salem's Griffen Theatre the first weekend in March. A cast of 10 English High students took the stage at the Griffen Theatre Tuesday for rehearsal of the play that Angelli describes as "fun" and "versatile." "I did it when I was a freshman. I worked backstage for Marysa Angelli, standing, a Lynn English it with the Marblehead Little Theatre and I really liked High School student who is directing and producing a play called The Dining Room at the show - it's so versatile because every scene has a completely different set of characters. You could use 100 Salem's Griffen Theatre, talks with one of the kids and have different characters in different scenes or actors, Michael Angelli, during rehearsal Tuesday. Photo by Owen Rourke. have six kids and have them play a ton of different characters," Angelli said. The Dining Room was written by American playwright A.R. Gurney and was first produced in New York City in 1981. The entire show is set in a single dining room where scenes from the lives of families in different households from different time periods intertwine, sharing the same dining room furniture set from 1898. "There are a ton of different scenarios that are basically about life," Angelli said. She paid for the production and location costs of the play out of her own pocket. Her mother said she was impressed with the cast of high school students and found herself in awe of her daughter. "I am awed by her determination. This is something she wanted to do and pursued it, but I am in awe of watching it come together and the professionalism, organizational skills and the work ethic I have seen these kids exhibit is mind boggling," Angelli said. "(I did it) so we could all have some form of theater this winter as our school didn't enter in the high school drama festival. We all wanted to work on something together and this is the alternative we came up with," Angelli said. She mentions that she is also acting in the performance, but only holds two small roles. During those scenes she has her peers give her direction, which she said is helpful. Angelli was introduced to acting and Marblehead Little Theatre by her aunt when she was age 12, and went with her to auditions. Since then she has been in a number of productions, including MLT's Peter Pan as a twin, LEHS's A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia and St. Mary's Wizard of Oz in which

she played several different parts. She said she is happy to work on stage and behind the scenes. "At school I definitely prefer to be in the show because it means I go to rehearsal more and it is generally more fun because I get to be there with all of my friends and get to goof around a little bit with my acting," Angelli said. "In a more professional theater like Marblehead Little Theatre, and I am an intern for Bello Productions in Boston, which is an improv company, I'd rather behind the scenes. It's not necessarily more or less pressure but a different kind of pressure. I like being in charge and the person that coordinates everything (on stage)." She said she isn't exactly sure yet what type of career she will pursue, but knows she wants to study theater and film in college.

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