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St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco
  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

Features

 

Backstage: The Narnia of SI

Ella Nicolson ’14
Editor-In-Chief

 

The lights go down and silence permeates the air. A single note blares, the lights flick on, and suddenly we’re in the 1950 slums in New York. Riff hops over the fence, and with one single snap Tension slithers onto the stage.

 

 It’s an abrupt transition, even for those of us who know what’s coming, who have been there and done that. This time, there’s something different. It’s only a dress rehearsal, but it doesn’t feel that way, not at all. I’m not being sentimental because I’m a senior, I’m telling you honestly that this show is different. This show isn’t about the people in it, it’s not about the who’s who, it’s about the show. It’s about a musical that shocked audiences when it first appeared on Broadway fighting to survive. We’re shameless, passionate, loyal, and ready to burst with agitation.

 

 They will never know how hard you work. They’ll never know the thirty minutes spent perfecting three lines of dialogue. They will never know the fear of tripping in the dark and landing on a nail, nor the terrifying crack when a set piece breaks. They will never see the quick look of panic that zips around the stage when something goes awry, and they will never notice minute hardening of our features that indicates we’ll go on anyways. They will never know that it takes an hour to pin up the hair that will be punned into a wig cap that will be pinned into the wig. They will never know about the seven-second costume changes, and that has continued to captivate audiences for generations. It’s about an age-old struggle between opposing groups. It’s about love that refuses to die.

 

 This is the feeling in the audience, but the moment I turn down the corridor into backstage, the feeling changes instantly. Backstage there’s a quiet hum of urgency, orange and purple jackets trading places with green and purple, red and pink dresses. Wigs are checked one last time, ties are adjusted, and we communicate only with gestures, facial expressions, and the wispiest of whispers. The music changes, and we burst through the backstage and onto the stage. We’re no longer students at SI, we’re tough kids the panic when the fight make-up smears onto your costume. They will never know, because that all happens backstage.

 

 We’re not athletes. You don’t see us sweating in the field. You don’t see us panting for breath. All you will see is the effortless quick step, the gentle gliding, everything choreographed to look natural. That’s our job. We take something mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting, and we turn it into something meaningful, touching, and brilliant. And when we leave the theater with headaches from pins, sweaty make-up still clinging to our faces, red marks from falls and punches, we smile because we have pulled off the greatest trick since Houdini.

Posted by on Monday April, 14, 2014

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