Riverside theater capture Halloween spirit in fall play

By Chandler Cates

Mysterious. Suspenseful. Jaw-Dropping.

These are all words that describe A Ghost for Rosanda, Riverside’s fall play. 

A Ghost for Rosanda is a mystery play written by Herman O. Ammann. 

Riverside theater teacher Monique Taylor’s second-period class chose the play because it fit well with other Halloween festivities. 

“It was really my second-period class who chose it and it was in celebration and or anticipation of the haunted house and Halloween,” said Taylor 

Taylor, decided to expect the unexpected with the plot but mostly focused on the technicality of the play. 

“I think as a theater director you kind of look for the unusual,” Taylor said. “Having a realistically unrealistic set was the challenge. I think it’s really more about the challenge technically and a good story.“ 

For Taylor, discussing the endless possibilities and reading the script was what made this play work. 

“Reading it multiple times, and having discussions with the actors and the technical crew, that all comes into play,” she said. “Just the discussion of it and the possibility of the artistic vision.” 

Taylor had many new things to teach to a young cast and crew. 

“I had a lot of new actors who had never been on stage before,” she said. “There were some seniors who had never been on stage before, and they wanted the opportunity before they left high school. I had a freshman, a couple of sophomores, but I would say I only had maybe three people in the whole cast that had been on stage before. So that was a challenge, but they rose to it.”

Taylor believes that being able to interact with her students is the best part of her job. 

“I love working with my students! “Seeing the enthusiasm they have for the craft and watching their confidence grow from the beginning to the end, it’s a wonderful feeling! That’s why I became a teacher.” 

Senior Rae Foraker directed the play. 

“She directed last year’s fall play also,” Taylor said. “That was the first time I have ever let a student directly as a student director. She’s just phenomenal in terms of her talent, and the first show we did last year that she helped co-direct she was wonderful, so I pretty much gave a lot of the reins over to her in terms on the blocking and working with the actors.”

Opening night was filled with excitement and tradition. 

“I felt excited. We always do a circle activity before the play starts with the actors, and we all discuss what we got from the experience. So it was exciting and I was so grateful by the end because the audience was wonderful, they received it so nicely.” 

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