Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Starring: Abby Berg

Junior Abby Berg performs their role as Mary Shelley in the school’s play “Frankenstein.” (Photo via Abby Berg).

This year, junior Abby Berg started the day with AM TOK at 7 a.m., and after going through a day that included the intensive IB core curriculum, rehearsed as the lead in the school play, “Frankenstein.” Berg also sometimes gets sleep between all of that. The Lasso follows up with Berg after their Cappies nomination for Best Female Lead, and asks what it takes to be a lead in the Meridian theater program. 

Vic: How long have you been involved in theater?

Abby: I started doing theater my freshman year, and then I was in the play that year, and I’ve been doing it since. 

Vic: So, um, what was one of your favorite roles? What were some of the roles you’ve played?

Abby: Well, in most of my shows I’ve been ensemble. So [Mary Shelley] was my first big, lead role. This was probably my favorite role, and I had a lot of fun. I also had a lot of fun playing Marotte in the “Love Doctor” last year, because she was just so ditzy, and she had the pigtails, you know. They’re very different roles. 

Vic: How did you feel when you got that lead role? 

Abby: Definitely surprised. Actually, I didn’t think that I was going to get it, so it was really exciting. 

Vic: So, how do you feel looking back on your performance? Did you feel like you did it justice? 

Abby: I hope so! I really hope so. laughs. Because, I mean, Danielle Mohlman (the writer of the play “Frankenstein,” a new staging and direction of Mary Shelley’s novel) trusted us with her words and I was like, it’s such a great honor. laughs. I just… Seeing how much [I’ve changed from] when I first auditioned for the role, how differently I played it and how I ended up.

Vic: Well, you did something right, because you’ve been nominated for a Cappie. How did you feel when you received that? 

Abby: That was amazing. That was so… Well, I haven’t received a Cappy yet. Just a Cappy nomination. I’m not gonna win it, though. 

Vic: Why not?

Abby: Oh, Duke Ellington will definitely win. They had the leading girl (Ruby Garritano playing Emily Webb in Duke Ellington’s School of the Arts’ production of “Our Town”). She was so good and so, so amazing. The whole audience cried. I cried.

Vic: Do you write for the Cappies? 

Abby: I did—I went to see and review “Our Town” for Meridian’s Cappies.

Vic: Neat. What are you involved in outside of theater? 

Abby: So other than that, laughs, I guess I dance. I just have enough ballet and acrobatics to keep me busy. Performing, really. 

Vic: Looking ahead, what do you want to continue on for your senior year as the junior year comes to a close?

Abby: Oh, my. This year I had some really great opportunities— I’m going to choreograph for “Matilda” (Mary Ellen Henderson’s musical) next year. And I’m looking for the next chance. 

Vic: That’s awesome! How did how did you get connected with that? 

Abby: I guess I just love choreographing, and I also work as a gymnastics coach. So I work with a lot of younger kids. They really just make fun of me. 

But really, I just sent a random email to Ms. G (Henderson theater teacher) and I asked if they needed anybody to help out. And actually, she replied and said that she did. So I just jumped in. 

Vic: And you’re also an IB student, right? 

Abby: Laughs. Yes. 

Vic: Perfect. What was your extended essay topic?

Abby: My extended essay is on the impact of Bob Fosse on modern dance. 

Vic: I sense a theme.

Abby: I really like dance!

Vic: How do you feel about your extended essay draft?

Abby: Laughed nervously. Um, we’re getting there. 

Vic: Laughs. I don’t think anyone feels happy with their Extended Essay.  Moving on, do you have any idea about colleges? The future? Laughs again. I know it’s the stereotypical question. 

Abby: Yeah, people always ask me that! I just don’t know yet. To be honest, theater is not really a viable career. But that’s very much what I’m doing right now. So right now, it’s just figuring out what I want to do.

Vic: So, as a junior who got the lead role in the play, what advice would you give to underclassmen who want to go through a similar theater process and working towards that role of lead?

Abby:  Give it your all. Take risks. Definitely take risks. Because I think [Meridian theater teacher Mr. Northrop’s] favorite thing is people who come in and take risks. You can come in and in an audition and perform a role completely wrong; but if you take a risk, that shows that you have more to work with, in some way. 

Vic: How do you feel your theater experience has been? 

Abby: It is really positive. It can be really stressful, like first learning [lines], but it’s really 

fun. But to underclassmen, have fun dry heaving before callbacks. 

Vic: Wow. 

Abby: Laughs. Yeah.

Vic: How do you manage working on the IB diploma and all of these high-stress curriculum classes on top of it?

Abby: It’s step-by-step. I’m here!

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About the Contributor
Victor Kidwell
Victor Kidwell, Features Editor
Victor Kidwell is a Junior, and this is his second year writing for The Lasso. He loves watching Twin Peaks and listening to whatever Lana Del Rey is doing now.