Penn-Trafford drama students prepare to stage 'Hunchback of Notre-Dame'
Penn-Trafford senior Colton Pikovsky wants to be hated.
Not in real life — just onstage.
“I hope the audience looks at me and says, ‘Boy, I really don’t like him.’ That’s my goal,” said Pikovsky, 18, of his role in the P-T Drama Guild’s upcoming production of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.”
Pikovsky will serve as the play’s villain, Archdeacon Claude Frollo.
“He’s a creep,” Pikovsky said. “He’s what every cleric should not be. He takes on his role for want of power and lust.”
That lust is for the play’s heroine, Esméralda, who is being pursued by Quasimodo, the titular hunchback, but also by Captain Pheobus de Chateaupers, played by senior Jonathan Heimbaugh.
“He’s a very arrogant and vain soldier,” Heimbaugh said. “He has different personalities depending on what character he’s talking to. He doesn’t care for people below his status and he’s objectively focused on people’s looks.”
Both Heimbaugh and Pikovsky, veterans of multiple plays and musicals at P-T, said they prefer the plays.
“There’s a lot more focus on character development,” Heimbaugh said. “You can really focus more on what you’re trying to convey to the audience, rather than preparing for dances.”
Pikovsky said he too loves the musicals, “but plays are where the drama’s at.”
Cast members began rehearsals at the end of September, and are now preparing for “tech week,” the intense period where all elements of the show — costumes, lighting, real-time scene changes — come together in daily rehearsals leading up to opening night on Nov. 30.
Pikovsky said he’s excited to see how audience members respond to a dark, complicated villain.
“I really had to work on being an emotionless, cruel man,” he said. “You love to be loved by everybody, but there’s just that feeling you get when people just don’t like you.”
“The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.
For more, see PTHSDramaGuild.com .
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, email@example.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.