North Hills junior thrilled to be back on the stage after battling lymphoma
North Hills High School junior Sean Nolan, 16, of West View is elated to return to the stage after a two-year hiatus.
“I was undergoing chemotherapy for Burkitts Lymphoma,” he said.
“But I'm super excited to be back where I belong, performing.”
Nolan will play the lead role of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy in North Hills High School Drama Club's fall play, “Pride and Prejudice,” which runs Nov. 9-11.
“Pride and Prejudice” is a streamlined theatrical version of Jane Austen's classic novel involving manners, courtship and relationships. Finding a husband is hardly Elizabeth Bennet's most urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous match-making mother and a string of unsuitable suitors, it's difficult to escape the subject. When the independent-minded Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, all feelings of attraction are muted by his pride and her prejudice. As their worlds keep colliding, their attraction increases. But they first must overcome their own weaknesses and many other obstacles before the most famous courtship in history can begin.
“I find myself liking the story more and more as we go along,” said Glenn Richey, the director. “The dialogue is clever and snappy. It's a comedy.”
The cast of 17 girls and eight boys has been rehearsing five days a week for the past two months. The biggest challenge was learning to deliver the lines in an authentic English accent.
Many of the students used an app in which they could recite the line in their normal voice and the app would play it back with the correct accent so they could imitate it.
“That's one nice thing about the Internet. There are apps for everything,” Richey said.
Senior Megan Medfisch, 17, of Ross, plays the role of Elizabeth, and appears on stage for a vast majority of the show. After rehearsals and before she goes to bed, she reviews the script.
“There are 108 pages of dialogue. There are only five to 10 pages I'm not in,” she said.
She hopes audiences will be touched by the production.
Following his battle with cancer, Nolan has a whole new perspective on performing.
“I'm going out there with a whole new mentality,” he said. “I realize that this could be the last show for any of us. You never know. So, I'm going out there and giving it my all.”
Laurie Rees is a Tribune-Review contributor.