By Josee Li
With the final production of Sock n’ Buskin (SnB) approaching on May 2-4, lead actress Hannah Mahtat and stage director Paige Suthard preview what to expect as well as reflect on their passion for theater.
Sock ‘n’ Buskin presents Spamalot on May 2, 3, and 4 at 7 PM each day.
By Amelia Spring
For many, the idea of holiday shopping evokes familiar images: stores adorned with various holiday decorations, children perched atop Santa’s lap in a mall, and hoards of people crowding stores to buy discounted gifts. However, with the rise of online retailers like Amazon, the experience of in-store holiday shopping is losing its popularity.
“The Amazon Effect” is a term that refers to the rapid growth of e-commerce over recent years. The most prominent business in e-commerce is Amazon, with almost half of all online retail sales. Companies like Amazon offer fast, convenient service and allow consumers to compare the pricing of similar products side by side, making it harder for brick and mortar stores to compete.
This development is increasingly evident during the holiday shopping season, a time that has been usually marked by shoppers flooding malls and stores to buy gifts. Is it possible for online shopping to render in-store holiday shopping obsolete?
E-commerce has grown steadily over the last decade, and experts predict that e-commerce will grow by another 15% during this holiday season. An increasing number of people are spending money online instead of in stores for the holidays. For example, in 2017, about 51% of the average holiday budget was spent online. As more and more shoppers rely on e-commerce for holiday shopping, brick-and-mortar stores inevitably lose some business to companies like Amazon.
However, this does not mean that shoppers have abandoned brick-and-mortar stores entirely, since 49% of shoppers said they still prefer to see an item in person before buying it. It seems unlikely that the in-store holiday shopping experience will be completely lost in the next few years. Consumers still value visiting stores because it allows them to interact with and try out products.
However, brick-and-mortar stores may face additional challenges in the distant future since people in younger generations spend more of their holiday budgets online. While shopping online may be easier and cheaper than going to a store, it may risk damaging the time-honored tradition of shopping for gifts in stores.
The question for many retailers is will shoppers continue to value the experiences many associate with in-person shopping, instead of blindly exchanging a trip to a mall for a few clicks of a mouse? Time will tell.
By Josee Li
It’s not too late to join a club this school year! If you’re not sure what to explore next, try using the guide below. Most clubs are included.
By Claire Fishman
On May 3-5, Sock ‘n’ Buskin presented The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the final production of its 50th anniversary season. Drood, a Tony-award winning musical and murder mystery, charmed and delighted audiences at each performance. The musical is based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name that was unfinished at the time of his death. Therefore, because the true ending of the novel is unknown, the ending of the musical is determined by an audience vote. The talented cast prepared multiple alternate endings for this twist, and the audience wound up choosing a different ending each night. The production was a great success and a wonderful way to end the season.
Additionally, as the end of the school year quickly approaches, Sock ‘n’ Buskin is celebrating 50 years of theater and performance. The club held its 50th anniversary reunion gala on June 9 at 6pm at CRN. All past and present Buskies were welcome at this event to enjoy dinner, performances, and nostalgia. Moreover, all three Sock ‘n’ Buskin directors attended, including current director Sandy Chantry who will be retiring this year after many years of service to the Council Rock theater community. No doubt, though, Sock ‘n’ Buskin will continue its fine tradition of entertainment for the CR community.
By Claire Fishman
From February 22-24, Sock ‘n’ Buskin presented their third production of the club’s 50th anniversary year. Their production of Noises Off, an award-winning play by Michael Frayn, delighted its audiences and provided the community with an enjoyable and engaging show.
The great effort put into this production by the cast and crew was evident, as the play included an intricate set and fast-paced dialogue as well as entrances and exits that must have required a great deal of rehearsal to perfect. The costumes and props were sophisticated and detailed as was necessary in order to convey the great significance of props to the plot. The actors portrayed each character in a unique and interesting manner, which made both acts exciting and humorous. When I spoke to the cast and crew in the days following the show, they all articulated how grateful they are to have had the experience of participating in the production of this play.
As Sock ‘n’ Buskin’s longtime director Sandy Chantry prepares to retire at the end of this season, the club is currently rehearsing their final show of the year. They will be presenting The Mystery of Edwin Drood on May 3-5 at 7:00pm. In contrast to Noises Off, this final show is a Tony Award-winning musical based on an unfinished Charles Dickens novel.
The show is the ultimate whodunit and employs humor throughout both acts. Moreover, it has interactive elements since the audience plays a role in the progression of the plot at the end of the show.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood promises to provide an interesting and engaging evening for its audiences. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door.
By Amanda Stone
When you think of vampires, what comes to mind? True Blood? Human Blood? Magic beings that happen to know spells? Well the truth is, Vampires are a lot like us! They do activities and they don’t just eat blood. I had the great opportunity to interview Daley Catherine, a well known vampire in the United States. Daley has been a vampire since age 15 and she said she was born as a natural vampire but was “awakened at 15.”
Question 1: Would you consider yourself a natural born vampire? A cosplayer or what would you describe it as?
Daley: I was born a vampire and awakened 15 years ago.
Question 2: What or who got you into the world of vampirism?
Daley: Since being a vampire is not a choice, nothing really got me into it. I was awakened at age 15.
Question 3: Do real life vampires drink blood? And how much do they consume?
Daley: About 50% of vampires feed from blood. Usually only a tablespoon … every 2 weeks to a month.
Question 4: Were you ever into vampire TV shows and movies? (ex: Twlight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries)
Daley: I awakened 15 years ago, so I enjoyed Anne Rice around that time. I do enjoy True Blood as well. Twilight is hated by pretty much every real vampire.
Question 5: Some people consider a vampire group like a cult, what would you describe it as?
Daley: Most vampire communities operate as a democratic town hall of sorts of vampires. Cults should be avoided at all costs.
Question 6: If you were to give advice to anyone who wanted to get into the world of vampirism, what advice would you give?
Daley: Enjoying a vampire lifestyle is fine, but there is a big difference between living the lifestyle and actually being a real vampire. Anyone interested in learning more I would recommend “Vampires in Their Own Words” by Michelle Belanger.
By Claire Fishman & Laura Platero
For the third performance of Sock ‘n’ Buskin’s 50th anniversary year, the cast of Noises Off has put together a farcical comedy that is sure to delight and entertain the Council Rock community.
In order to successfully execute this fast-paced play, the actors are required to constantly be in motion: entering and exiting the stage, rotating the set, changing costumes, and exchanging props often with mere seconds to accomplish these tasks.
Since Noises Off is “a play within a play,” it follows a group of actors putting on a show, with Act I chronicling the rehearsals leading up to opening night and Act II depicting the actors performing their unfinished play as well as showing the backstage chaos.
Moreover, the play’s director, Sandy Chantry, who has been the Theater Director at Council Rock North for many years, will be retiring this year, making this performance even more special. The community will definitely not want to miss this production, set to charm audiences on February 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $8 for students, $12 for adults.
We got together with the cast and crew and below are some excerpts from our interviews with them:
How would you describe Noises Off to those who are not familiar with it?
Senior Maddy McCloskey: “It’s about a group of actors rehearsing a play, but in the eleventh hour of rehearsal they still can’t seem to get it right. In the second half of the show, you seem them perform what they rehearsed poorly and chaos ensues. Misplaced props, love triangles, costumes falling off, and people falling down flights of stairs make this show hilarious.”
How long did it take to put the show together?
Senior Mike Yost: “The shows that get put on in the winter have more time restraints than the fall plays or spring musicals do. The already-shortened rehearsal schedule, with snow days added onto that, created a challenge and made this play much more difficult to put on. However, I think my cast mates would agree that, regardless of the strict rehearsal schedule, the show is going to be as good, if not better, than any show you’ve seen Sock ‘n’ Buskin perform.”
How has the experience been working on Noises Off?
Senior Sophia Amodei: “I have loved working on the show. It’s been so rewarding seeing the progress of this difficult show over the past weeks. I love the cast, and rehearsing has been so much fun!”
What is your take on the play, as the Stage Manager?
Sophomore Paige Suthard: “It’s definitely a funny, silly show. It incorporates silly humor in it, but also very smart humor; it’s something that you have to really understand. It’s just very clever and it’s a wonderful opportunity to be doing this. This show is definitely something I think people will enjoy, especially the people who come and see our shows regularly because it’s a lot different than most shows we’ve done.”
What significance does the set play in the show?
Senior Maddy McCloskey: “The set is huge! It’s two stories with four flights of stairs and multiple functioning doors and windows; it just adds so much to… the show. Slamming doors and breaking windows are all….in Noises Off. Plus, during Act Two, the whole set spins around. It’s truly amazing that the students built it themselves.”
How is Noises Off different from other CRN plays?
Senior Mike Yost: “Noises Off is unlike any show Sock ‘n’ Buskin has produced. The farc[ical] nature of the play creates quite chaotic scenes on stage that are guaranteed to make you laugh. [Props such as] doors, sardines, bags, and boxes all make the show hilarious.”
What is the best quality of the show in your opinion?
Senior Sophia Amodei: “The show is hilarious. Even while performing it, it’s hard for me not to laugh.”
By Amanda Stone
Ever since Prince Harry announced his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle in November 2017, fans have been asking when the big day would arrive. And on February 11, we got our answer. Kensington Palace released the details via Twitter and fans have never been more excited. Here are the details and scheduled festivities of the special day.
It has not yet been announced if the wedding will be televised, but it is expected to be. If it is televised, it is expected that over 100 million people will watch from all over the world.
The day will be wonderful and also very historic as Meghan Markle will be the first American princess in the Royal Family.
Council Rock North alum Isaiah (Zack) Solotaroff, now a senior at San Diego State University, has just published his own podcast. The press release is below:
SAN DIEGO, December 7, 2017 — ZACK’S FILM TALKS AT SDSU, the first film podcast to originate out of the School of Theatre, Film, and Television (TFM) at San Diego State University, has just been released and is available to listeners.
ZACK’S FILM TALKS AT SDSU features interviews with prominent screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, and other film professionals. The interviews are conducted by San Diego State University film student Isaiah (Zack) Solotaroff ’18.
The inaugural four episodes are being released simultaneously. They feature interviews with Lady Bird cinematographer Sam Levy, Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Michael Green, Baltimore Rising producers Nathan Mook and Gabe Dinsmoor, and Bad Words screenwriter Andrew Dodge.
Podcast host Zack Solotaroff says, “I wrote to screenwriters cold to ask if I could interview them about their work, and then I wrote to other professionals. I’ve been surprised how many have replied, how open and helpful they’ve been, and how much I’ve learned from them as I’ve interviewed them.
“Sam Levy was able to tell me what a cinematographer actually does, which for him included making a 110-page shot list for Lady Bird.
“Michael Green described what it was like to be on the set of Blade Runner 2049, which I had gotten a taste of myself when I worked on the Blade Runner activation at Comic-Con this past summer. Michael made so many specific recommendations for aspiring screenwriters that I transcribed the entire interview and posted it, with links to all his suggestions.”
Fans of the podcast can contact Zack Solotaroff via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback and ideas or to suggest guests, including SDSU graduates active in film.
To listen to the podcast, visit http://zacksfilmtalksatsdsu.libsyn.com/
ABOUT ZACK’S FILM TALKS AT SDSU
Based at San Diego State University, in San Diego, California, ZACK’S FILM TALKS AT SDSU is hosted by Zack Solotaroff. It is released monthly and will soon be available for subscription at iTunes. For more information, contact email@example.com
By Amanda Stone
If you have not heard of the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, you either have A) no interest in Broadway or B) been living under a rock for the past year and a half.
Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of Evan Hansen, a boy with social anxiety. He loses his best friend Connor to suicide and then has to ensure all the hard times ahead of him. With his friend Alana and his parents by his side, Evan learns who he really is and sends us the message that we will all be found.
Dear Evan Hansen won six Tony awards this year including the award for Best Musical, beating fellow musicals Come From Away, Groundhog Day: The Musical and Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.
Dear Evan Hansen stars Ben Platt, whom you might have seen in a little movie called Pitch Perfect. Platt also won the Best Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role in A Musical award at the Tonys, making this his first award win.
This extremely popular show is sold out until January 2018, so plan your visit accordingly. Dear Evan Hansen has been views by fans all over the world and will head out on tour in Spring 2018. Ben Platt will play his final performance on November 19th as Noah Galvin (The Real O-Neals) and Taylor Trensch from Hello Dolly! will take over until spring.