Gwen Beal: From Almost Nothing To “Almost, Maine”

On her 1st day of school 4 years ago, Gwen Beal auditioned for Staples Players’ fall show, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

She didn’t get a role.

But instead of marking the end of her Players career, it was the beginning.

Assistant director Caley Baretta asked Gwen to sit in on a rehearsal. Though intimidated — Caley was a well-known junior — Gwen said “sure.”

She was hooked.

She interned with Caley for the spring production of “Twelve Angry Men.” She continued to work with — and learn from — Caley as a sophomore.

As a junior, Gwen was on her own.

Gwen Beal, working hard on the set of “Almost, Maine.”

Now — less than a month from graduation — she’s reached the end of a very enjoyable and creative 4-year Staples Players career. “Almost, Maine” — a serio-comic collection of whimsical tales about the joys and perils of romance in a small Maine town — is set for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 24, 25 and 26) in the Black Box Theatre.

It’s a clever, intriguing play — one of those you-may-not-know-it-but-you’ll love-it shows. It’s also a fitting capstone for Gwen’s career.

“To think that I saw maybe 2 Players productions before I got here. And now it’s become the biggest part of my life,” she marvels.

Actors get all the props applause, but a role like Gwen’s is crucial to any play’s success.

“It’s so rewarding to watch a scene grow,” she says. “We shape it the way we want. It really is ours. Mr. Roth (David, the director) oversees things, but in a lot of ways we’re really on our own.”

Michelle Pauker and Bryan Gannon, two of the stars in “Almost, Maine.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

From casting suggestions to helping block and run scenes — plus nitty-gritty but very necessary work like handling dinner — an assistant director can make or break a show.

Gwen learned her role by “stalking Caley. I saw everything she did. There’s no textbook to read. Everything is trial and error.”

Once, Gwen forget an important binder. She got yelled at — and never made the same mistake again.

She’s excited about “Almost, Maine” because the cast and staging are so intimate. “Everyone has a story to tell, but the scenes are short. You don’t have much time to get the whole character across.”

Everett Sussman (left) and Clay Singer discuss the world in “Almost, Maine.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

It’s not easy for a high school actor to play an adult going through a divorce. “That’s so beyond our experience,” Gwen says. “But it’s so rewarding to figure out how to do it, and do it right.”

Some days are blissful. Others are freak-outs. Yet, Gwen notes, “when you figure everything out, there’s no feeling like it.”

Right now, she feels “bittersweet. I’m totally in denial that on Saturday, I’ll be all done with Players. This experience has really shaped me as a person. I’ve learned to talk to adults, technicians, older Players and peers. I’ve learned so much about people.

“My entire high school experience would have been different without Players.”

And all because an older student asked casually, can you give me a hand?

(“Almost, Maine” will be produced in the Staples Black Box Theatre this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 24, 25 and 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students. There is also a 4 p.m. performance on Saturday, May 26; tickets are $5 for senior citizens and students. Click here for reserved seats.)
 
Click the YouTube arrow below for an “Almost, Maine” trailer:
 

32 responses to “Gwen Beal: From Almost Nothing To “Almost, Maine”

  1. Lisa Bowman

    Gwen is an incredible young woman! She is highly respected by her peers, and her dedication and contribution to Players will be greatly missed. Come and see ALMOST MAINE….it is going to be fantastic and I hear it snows!

  2. Congratulations, Gwen – you have had an incredible run!

  3. Julie Van Norden

    Gwen is amazing! Because of her I started going to Staples productions and now I never miss one. Props to you Gwen for all the hard work you’ve done behind the scenes!!

  4. Past Players President

    This is the third time I have heard that students are turned away from Staples Players productions without a role and I think it’s shameful. It makes me sick to my stomach. David Roth has marred the organiztion Al Pia built by turning Players from an inclusive “family” organization to that of a competitive varsity sports team. Players was a safehaven for so many people while I was at Staples, many of whom never were cast in a lead role, but always had a chorus part to keep them involved in the group. Al even chose to double cast some students who might not have been the best (myself included) but with his guidance we rose to the ocasssion. Staples itself also suffers from this change in the Players organization because I have heard that at least a handful of students have gone to other schools in order to pursue their interest in drama. I wish the best for the students in every production – they continue to be incredibly talented – but I hope someone can intercede before it is too late to turn things around.

    • Anonymous Players Student

      Past Players President- Staples Players is considered to be one of the best organizations in the country and definitely would not be without the ensemble. Mr. Roth has said on numerous occasions that ensembles are crucial to every show and have the same amount of importance as any other role. Also, there is the quote, “there are no small roles, only small actors.” There wouldn’t be a show without an ensemble, and Mr. Roth casts people in these ensemble roles so that our shows can be successful. If you were truly a Players student then you would understand that Mr. Roth tries his best to make the shows look great for our school, not so kids can cry over not getting the part that they wanted. In addition, I’ve never felt so a part of something as I have in Players. During my Players career, my parents went through a rough divorce, so I relied on my fellow Player students and the organization itself when things at home got tough. Maybe you don’t feel that this organization was a family because you were busy focusing on other people not getting big enough parts, but I think differently. If I’m being perfectly honest, I would most likely not be sane today if it weren’t for my Players family. This is just food for thought and please don’t take this offensively. I hope you have time to read this since I know you’re so “sick to your stomach” because of these “shameful” problems. -Current Players Student

      • I have to agree with Past Players President. I have been “apart” of players. I use that term lightly. It is very exclusive. You have to be a certain way to fit in. Yes they do put on fantastic shows and the people who are in them are extremely talented, but other people should have a chance to explore their own talent. High School is supposed to be about exploring and learning about oneself and I feel like players may allow some people to do this, but a very small amount. There really are “no small parts, just small actors,” but everybody should have a chance.

  5. Fred Cantor

    Past Players President–why are you contending that people are being turned away? It seems that the exact opposite has happened here. Gwen became part of the Players family by getting the opportunity to work with an assistant director, and has since worked her way up. What more could you ask for? Not everyone can necessarily be out on the stage and, as you well know, those working behind the scenes are every bit as important to the success of a show.

    • Past Players President

      People are being turned away because they desire to act on stage and are being relegated/forced to participate solely behind the scenes. Historically (not sure if it’s the same now) if you were in Players, everyone had to fulfill a certain number of crew hours, but if you auditioned, you had a role to play onstage as well as backstage.

      However, this isn’t an issue of importance of actors vs crew. What more could I want? Granted I know very little about Gwen’s other experiences, but I want Gwen to have had the opportunity to feel what it’s like to perform for an audience in a musical AND find that she enjoys working behind the scenes. I contend that, yes, everyone can and should be out on stage for at least a few minutes if they desire the experience. Staples Players is a club and not a sports team where only a certain number of slots exist on the field of play.

      I’m really speaking to the larger group of students unable to secure such a position like Gwen did or are not interested in solely participating behind the scenes. What happens to them? They lose interest and leave Staples Players and apparently they sometimes also leave Staples High School.

      I know I did not mention before, but in addition to being on stage for every production in my tenure at Staples, I also worked on multiple crews and was a crew head starting earlier than most – if that validation is needed for my argument. And perhaps Dan’s blog is the wrong forum for my outrage, but I had been thinking about writing a letter and was compelled to react when I saw that another student had been delcined a role from an organization that was so important in shaping my life. It is a testament to her tenacity that she continued where so many others would be discouraged and seek other extracurriculars.

  6. Michele Wrubel

    Kudos to Gwen, who is smart, dedicated and well-deserving of this attention, and bravo to all the Staples kids involved in Players! This organization gives so many students the opportunity to be part of a team. If you try out for sports, you don’t always make the cut and you can’t be a part of the team. However, as Mr. Cantor points out, if you try out for a Players show and don’t get an acting role, you can still be involved in a meaningful way if you so choose. There are many tech crews that are welcoming to students with no experience, and there are several shows put up each year. I remember at the first parent meeting I attended, one of the officers of Players discussed how she didn’t get cast at all in the first year she auditioned, found a tech crew to be a part of that she loved, and ended up balancing the tech work with acting as she was cast in subsequent years. And many parts in major productions are indeed double cast. Everyone can’t always get ‘the lead’, but anyone who wants to be a Player can be.

  7. Yes Gwen!! I’m so proud of the work you have accomplished.

  8. Avery Suter

    Former Players President:
    Dude, chill.
    As a current Players techie I can tell you first hand that it is impossible to give every single person a role in a show. I’ve seen productions at other high schools and middle schools where they do put everyone in the chorus and it doesn’t work very well for a few reasons:
    1) There are only a few full-cast numbers in an average musical and it sucks for the kids who are only in those few songs but still have to come to every rehearsal and performance.
    2) Putting a giant chorus onstage is difficult to block and often doesn’t leave much room on the stage. The number of people who audition for each show has grown enormously and if you put all of them on the stage at once it would be like a can of sardines.
    But also, I think you should know that the fall musical isn’t the only show. If someone doesn’t get cast in the fall, they can still get a role in One-Acts, a studio production, a Blackbox show (like Almost, Maine), or the spring musical. So if they really really want to be on stage, there are plenty of opportunities. A lot of people who don’t get cast may decide that acting isn’t their thing and so they focus on another activity, but if someone is truly heartbroken by missing out on a show, there’s always the next one. In fact every freshman who shows up to a meeting is assigned a senior buddy and those buddies job is mostly to make sure the freshman stay included and involved even if they don’t get cast. We suggest crews for the freshman, tell them when auditions for the next show are, and help them along in the process.
    I also find it rude that you would accuse Mr. Roth of doing a subpar job. He is handling a much larger organization than Mr. Pia ever had to work with and he still keeps kids very involved and puts on excellent productions. Mr. Roth still does plenty of double-casting and gives chorus members understudy roles (which have been very important of late). I never knew Mr. Pia and I never saw one of his shows but I have no doubt that Mr. Roth respects and appreciates each students effort as much as his predecessor did.

    • Avery Suter

      Also, Gwen Beal and all the other student directors are awesome, forgot to mention that.

  9. Staples Players Student

    Dear Past Players President,
    First off, you are in the past, not the present. That gives you no right to criticize the organization that is going on today. I am apart of the organization, and I know that it is the place in school I feel the most accepted. Even if I am not apart of a show, I know I can go to any of the students and talk to them as if they are apart of the “family” you say Pia had introduced. Al Pia did some excellent work, and I was lucky enough to meet him. He set the standard for Players EXTREMELY high, so Mr. Roth had to maintain that standard as he came in as the new director. And the only way to keep that standard so high was to introduce the competitiveness of theatre. I think that what Mr. Roth is doing is incredible, and teaches me and all of my peers what we need to know when we head out into the real world. His lessons and constructive criticisms are vital to form better acting technique. I know Mr. Roth has helped me become very comfortable moving across the stage, and has helped me feel much more accepted.
    If I did not make a show, it reminded me that sometimes this is what the real world is going to be like and I try to think of what I could have done differently. Gwen is a remarkable girl, and this article is great. It’s going to be hard to watch her go. But if a kid gets cut from a show just because they aren’t ready to head out on the stage, they can still find positions just like Gwen’s. There are many kids following in her footsteps, however you would not know that because you are not here. There are crew heads, design crews, senior managers, pub runs; TONS of different ways students can get involved.
    Maybe you are frustrated because Al Pia is not in charge at Staples anymore. Again, that doesn’t give you the right to go against the amazing organization that has been created, and that everyone can feel apart of as long as they don’t give up. I’m sorry if this was harsh, but its the simple truth. Mr. Roth is doing a great job, and again, please take your rude remarks somewhere else, especially not on comments where he and the entire Staples Players community can read them. I do not think you have any idea what it feels like to hear your rude comments on the other end.

    A Staples Actor and member of the Fundraising and Outreach crew

  10. current production assistant

    Dear Past Players President,
    As one of the current production assistants in Staples Players, I can confidently tell you that you are incredibly wrong in insulting the Players community. I did not audition for West Side Story, but I wanted to be involved in Players and had many friends who auditioned and did not make it. All of us stayed involved working on the show. We were all just as accepted as anyone else and when I auditioned for the One Act Play Festival in the Winter, I made the show.
    Gwen was my theater TA first semester and I was really interested in her role in Players. I went up to her and Mr. Roth one day during Theater and asked if I could production assist for Into the Woods and they GLADLY accepted me into the Players family. Being a freshman in players and still learning, I know that I can go to anyone with anything and everyone is so sweet. Between Gwen, Adam, Mr. Roth, and Kerry, I have learned and grown so much. Mr. Roth is an amazing teacher and person. Before you go running your mouth, you might want to check your facts. People ARE double cast and he gives people the chance to be understudies as well and grow.
    As said above, you are PAST players president and you do not know Players today. Players is my second home and they are all my family. If you want to be involved in Players, you can be. Speaking of the wonderful people, considering this is a post about the fantastic Gwen Beal, you should stop making this about yourself and your experience and focus on the outstanding achievements in this article. She is phenomenal and has taught me so much. Gwen, I am going to miss you SO much next year and you have made such an impact on my life. Thank you for everything.

  11. Past Players Vice President

    It may also be that because student enrollment is very high in Westport right now and Players is the largest student organization at Staples, that there is just not an opportunity for every student who auditions to be in every production. This year over 90 students auditioned for “West Side Story”. More than 10 roles were double cast. There would have been no way to put any more kids on that stage. Not only would it have looked ridiculous- it would have been UNSAFE. I’m sure anyone who actually saw that wonderful production would agree. I am pretty sure that the legendary Al Pia never did a show with 95 kids on stage.

  12. It’s ironic that I posted about the inclusion of everyone and am met with justification of the opposite. 

    I never meant to make this about me in the least. And I apologize for taking away from the original posting’s subject. I created a wordpress site to continue the discussion if anyone has interest.  http://keepplayersgreat.wordpress.com/

    • So back to you, Gwen – congratulations on your wonderful performance as Staples Assistant Director. Staples Players differentiates Westport – you should be very proud of your contribution to such a fine organization.

  13. I am sick of hearing the whispers of entitled parents who believe their kid is “not being given their due” or “not being treated fairly” if they weren’t given a lead role – or part they wished for.

    Maybe, the very students who have “gone to other schools in order to pursue their interest in drama” are the very students who create drama offstage as well, and are therefore better suited elsewhere.

    How sad that “Past Players President” would use this celebration of Gwen as a platform to execute a sniper attack.

    Have an axe to grind? Hiding behind a fake moniker and using Al Pia’s name to disguise your real identity?

    Try hard work and less excuses.

    Sincerely,
    gratefultorothandkerry

  14. Its Almost "Almost, Maine!!!"

    COME SEE ALMOST MAINE!!!
    http://www.staplesplayers.com

  15. Caley Beretta

    Gwen is an absolutely INCREDIBLE director, leader, and friend. I am lucky to have gotten to know her and work with her for two years. Where would Players be today if Gwen hadn’t joined the directing team? I think I speak for Mr. Roth, Kerry, Rhonda, and Adam that we couldn’t have done it without her. I know that by my senior year, the only thing keeping me sane and smiling was Gwen. YOU GO GIRL.

  16. your secret admirer jk not so secret jk just proud of you kid

    Congrats, Gwen!! You rock!!!

  17. Ok I think that we need to see the big picture here- Gwen had an amazing high school career, generally well accentuated by her role in Staples Players. I have the privilege of thinking of her as my friend/close acquaintance, and she rocks.
    To be blunt, Roth has a vision of his shows and he makes them spectacular. While not my favorite person in the world, he does what he has to do to make a great show while including as many kids as possible with fairly large ensembles as well as understudies and double casts. Honestly, auditions are rough. But if you can’t handle that, then you need to examine what you can do to get better and do your best to grow. You start to find yourself in high school, and in players, you may not find yourself acting/singing/dancing in a show. You may find yourself designing lights, or painting a set, or, like Gwen, becoming an assistant director.
    Fact is, Staples Players is an organization that allows EVERYONE to explore themselves and find new things to do and make friends. It’s not a big charity that accepts kids and lies to their faces, telling them that they deserve to have a role when they don’t and need to work on their audition. It’s possible to get a role- you just need to do some self-examination and figure out how to better yourself for another audition, whether it’s something as small as memorizing a song better or even seeing a vocal coach for a lesson or two. Roth and Kerry award hard work, and unfortunately for many kids, they don’t show that in their auditions. Likewise, they aren’t rewarded with a role.
    Gwen is just a prime of example of a successful Staples Player- VP, an awesome person, organized and helpful, Gwen became an amazing person in this organization. I love her to death and will miss her incredibly next year. Everyone needs to find their niche, which may not be on stage. This is preparation for life, and helps you grow and develop into a person who does their job and works at something they enjoy to contribute to a whole. That’s what Player is, and hopefully will continue to be for a long time. (:

    Best,
    Anon Player

  18. It astonishes me that anyone would imagine that everyone who wants to get an acting role should automatically get one. I am left speechless by this attitude.

  19. Wow, lots of thoughts being shared here. I for one am not really a big fan of the anonymous posting – I can understand why those that are students and underage might want to keep their names off of this, but it seems silly to me to not be able to talk openly as adults.

    A lot has been said here: some positive, some negative, some true, some not-as-much true, but the bottom line to me is this… I think that I speak for all of the adults that are leaders in the Players organization in the simple fact that we genuinely care about the students. We put in long hours. We want good results but we also want the kids to have fun. We try our very best to include as many kids as possible and to create opportunities for as many as we can. We talk about the students when we’re not with them. We worry about them. We sometimes lose sleep over them. It’s more than a full time job.

    The adults in the organization genuinely care for the well being of the students – sometimes the kids don’t always get the part they want, but that doesn’t mean that we care about them any less. We do the best we can to make the organization run as smoothly as we can. All the people that are in leadership positions have great respect for Players and its history – we do the best we can and obviously no one is perfect, especially those in the leadership of a large organization with a long history.

    We are crazy about what we do and lucky to get to do it in a town where we are so supported. We are blessed with intelligent, compassionate, driven students who enrich our lives as we (try to) enrich their’s. I think we’re all pretty lucky.

    Kerry Long
    Staples Players

  20. David Roth

    Dear Former Players President,

    Thank you for your concern for our organization. I am responding here as Staples Players Unofficial Historian- not as the man who “has marred the organization Al Pia built by turning Players from an inclusive “family” organization to that of a competitive varsity sports team”. I was more intrigued by your recollections of the specific era that you participated in Players than offended by your assertions.

    My own personal history started in 1982 when I entered Staples as a sophomore. I participated in the organization for my entire time serving on both sides of the stage, becoming an officer, and during that time I fell in love with the organization and became very close with Al Pia. I remained close with Al until his death and at Al’s request, I came back and applied to be his successor. I have run the organization for 12 years now.

    In your comments you state that all the shows Al did while you here were big shows with large choruses and everyone who auditioned was cast. Your anonymity was immediately threatened because I am almost certain that you must have attended Staples between 1989 and 1993 because these were the only years in Al Pia’s tenure that he produced more than one big musical a year (with the exception of his final year in 1996). Every other year he directed only one show or one big musical paired with a smaller, more “exclusive” drama. There was no other period in Staples Players history when 2 huge musicals were produced in the same school year- including all of Al’s first 20 years and the 8 years when Craig Matheson, the actual founder of Players, was in charge. This can all be confirmed on The Players website at: http://www.staplesplayers.com/microsite/OurProductions_Plays.html where we have painstakingly put together the history of Players productions.

    I spoke to Dan Woog (who is the unofficial Staples High School historian) who confirmed that there were only around 900 kids at Staples during the 90’s –compared to 1800 right now. By looking through playbills from the shows that were done during that time it is clear that the number of people in the casts varied between 36-60 students- so obviously casting everyone who auditioned was very possible. We have about 65 students onstage every fall in our main-stage musical. The difference is that we have between 90-105 audition -something that never could have happened when you were here. When I attended Staples in the early 80’s the population of Staples was about the same as it is today and Al Pia DID cut people during auditions. There were several kids (many of them close friends of mine) that were not able to be in the cast and worked behind the scenes if they wanted to be involved.

    I appreciate that you think of the time you were here as the heyday of Staples Players. I felt the same way about my time as a student here. That is one of the reasons that my wife, Kerry and I have devoted a large part of our lives to this group- so that the kids today could feel the same way about their time in Staples Players that you and I did. I think you can see from the impassioned responses to your posts that they feel as passionate about Staples Players as you and I do. They just are here in the present- not the past.

    David Roth
    Staples Players

    • Perhaps people have chosen to continue to respond to me here because of laziness, but maybe to ensure their thoughts are seen in a more public forum. I will respond on the blog I created for this purpose. As I said before, I was very sorry to have caused any distraction from Gwen’s achievements by derailing this blog post. Good luck, Gwen, with all of your future endeavors. You sound like a fantastic person. 

  21. Current Players Student

    Wow, Mr. Roth, Kerry, this is one of the more unprofessional things you have done, even more unprofessional than Kerry friending everybody on Facebook so they can stalk kids’ profiles. Look, this whole thing is taking away from Gwen’s article. She worked so hard and this whole thing is taking away from it! Mr. Roth, you seriously need to check yourself before you wreck yourself because this is extremely unprofessional and not the way the head of Staples Players should be acting. The bottom line is, Mr. Roth, you make underclassmen afraid to talk to you. Nobody likes walking into the Black Box where your office is because you instill fear into underclassmen. I never knew Mr. Al Pia, but he doesn’t seem like a person who demanded everybody to audition for every show, or made kids afraid to talk to him. I think this is what Past Players President was talking about.
    Also, I have been in some shows so this isn’t some way to get back at you for not casting me. I speak God’s honest truth.

    • Brianna Reedy

      Dear Current Player Student,

      You want to talk about unprofessional? Posting something like that is EXTREMELY rude and VERY unprofessional. I can certainly understand why you didn’t sign your name; I would be very embarrassed to have my name on a piece of writing like that. For your information, Mr. Roth is a wonderful teacher, director, and over all person. You have clearly not gotten to know him very well. I look up to Mr. Roth, and Kerry, for endless reasons. Mr. Roth has done a great job directing Staples Players and has made every production that I have been a part of a great experience. I never met Al Pia either, but I am almost positive he would not appreciate you using his name to bash a fellow director. You really should be ashamed of yourself. Mr. Roth is also not a scary guy. He’s a director, you’re going to be afraid of him when you first walk into an audition, but you’ll also be afraid of everyone else sitting in on auditions. Kerry is always super nice, and I promise you I don’t think she friends kids to stalk them. I’m sure if you asked her, she would tell you she does it to get to know the gets better and to make them feel more welcome. I’m friends with Kerry on Facebook, and I’m not afraid to admit that. You have a very messed up idea of these two people. Mr. Roth is one of the most understanding and caring teacher that I know at Staples High School. Clearly, you are too blind to see that.

      I am now going to sign my name, because I am have no problem with people knowing that I wrote this, simply because there is no reason for me to be ashamed, unlike some others who have commented on this article.

      -Brianna Reedy
      Current Stage Manager of Staples Players

    • Since that pretty much covered the rude and unnecessary behavior of this post, I’d just like to take a moment to point out the illegitimacy of the entire argument. This chain of posts grew so long due to overwhelming support for Mr. Roth from current Players who realize all of the hard work and long hours that he puts in to make our organization as great as it is. Additionally, his post was sincere, appropriate, and in no way unprofessional (the same goes for Kerry’s post). As someone who works closely with Mr. Roth, I can attest to the fact that he is filled with nothing but the best intentions. He encourages his students to push their limits, and while the achievement process can sometimes be arduous, it is a large part of what makes Players as great as it is and Players as great as they are. It is the reason why after many late nights with the organization, I am capable of using a lighting system far more advanced than most colleges, and many professional theaters for that matter. Furthermore, Mr. Roth is not just the director of any old high school drama program. Players is a humongous responsibility, and even when we aren’t in the middle of a show, Mr. Roth is spending hours in his office taking care of business and making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible so as not to disappoint the approximately 200 students who depend on him in one way or another. And while this may not leave him with the biggest smile, it sure does leave him with the biggest heart (just the other day we had a meeting after school and throughout it he was burning Willy Wonka CD’s to stay on track with all that he had to do). Now if you’d prefer, there’s always the option of scaling down to the average high school theater program’s one or two main stage productions a year. But if you enjoy having six shows a year spanning multiple genre’s, a student driven technical organization, enough theater courses to span your entire high school career, two chances a year for students to learn to take on the responsibility of directing their own show, and a name known by colleges throughout the country, then you’re just going to have to settle for what you have: a great director who may be a tad bit intimidating at first but who pours his heart and soul into this great organization.
      -Matt Kresch
      2012/2013 VP Tech

    • Grace McDavid

      Current players member,

      While you accuse Mr. Roth and Kerry of being unprofessional, examine your own behavior. You should not be speaking for everyone when you say those things, because they are simply untrue. Not only have they given myself and countless other students incredible opportunities to grow and hone our theatrical abilities, but they have maintained and provided for us a safe haven and a strong sense of community in the organization. I am not exactly sure where I would be right now had I not had the warm, supportive environment that is Staples Players in my life. Mr. Roth is an incredible teacher, director, and person. You can see how much he cares about each and every one of us and the passion he has for theatre when you work with him. He has helped everyone excel and grow to their maximum ability, and year after year takes potential and turns it into true, unparalleled talent. One may be intimidated by a person of power as a freshman, and I can assure you that any intimidation you feel is unnecessary. I personally feel comfortable talking to Mr. Roth and know for a fact that he is understanding and extremely kind. Before you berate an individual over the internet, you should think about how well you really know them, because your assumptions could be extremely incorrect. In addition, Kerry doesn’t friend us on Facebook in order to stalk us. In case you havent noticed, nobody in Players is forced to be friends with her. It is a personal choice. Plus, players has a creed saying you are not allowed to use drugs or alcohol. If Kerry stalked everyone on Facebook, I’m pretty sure that I know some people who would’ve been in very big trouble by now. All of your assumptions are beyond incorrect. You should be ashamed of yourself for attempting to degrade people when you don’t really know the whole story. Staples Players, Mr. Roth, and Kerry have impacted and changed many lives, including my own, in so many positive ways that could simply never be repaid. They deserve to be appreciated for all that they’ve done, not attacked.

  22. I was directed to this article by a friend. I found some of the posts to be insulting, but what “Current Players Student” wrote was unbelievable. This is not a site where you can bash adults, especially your teacher. This is a blog that students as well as adults in the community read and respect. No matter how you feel towards any teacher in general you should NEVER write that about someone, especially a person that has given you the opportunity to be part of a wonderful organization. Mr. Roth, Kerry, JoJo, Rhonda, Marjorie, and Priscilla, and every Staples Player has made my high school experience much better than it would have been without Players and they gave me a home away from home. I have been in Players for 4 years and am sad to go, but I am even more fearful that underclassmen feel the need to make immature comments and cyber bully a teacher.
    On a happier note, Gwen, I love ya sooo much you did a great job with your show and you’ve come a long way in these past 4 years. I’m so glad I got to experience this with you. 🙂

  23. Current Players Student

    I apologize for my rude comment. Reading it over, it was uncalled for. I want to apologize to Mr. Roth, and Kerry for being rude. However, I think that there are things they do wrong. Lots of things. I do things wrong. Just look at my comment. That was wrong. But hey, nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days. Everybody knows what I’m talking about, everybody gets that way. But in all seriousness, it was uncalled for, and all of the things Brianna, Matt, Grace, and Lexi said are true.