Last weekend Marlboro High School put on “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a play by Oscar Wilde.
Marlboro graduate Jane Petruncola [Class of 2016] made her directorial debut with this play. She said it took a little bit of time for the cast to master the cadences of the 19th century dialogue.
“Their speaking [then] was like boom, boom, boom, one right after another. So the pacing is something we worked on,” she said. “There are also a lot of terms they have that we don’t use anymore in America. There was a lot of research on my part to give them the information so they could then play with that; it took a lot of practice to get the timing of everything down. I told them it was important to get the accents and to be able to understand everything that you’re saying while keeping this pacing.”
Petruncola said she knew that her fist play had to be a comedy, “to draw crowds in and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a big drama yet.” She said at the first show they made $2,000, and at the second show they took in $1,850.
“That’s amazing, especially for the fall play,” she said.
Petruncola said in high school, “I was a die-hard drama kid and then I went to school for musical theater at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY.” She graduated early in December 2019 and moved to Orlando, Florida to take a job in entertainment at Disney World. When covid hit she returned home to Marlborough, did some film work and applied to the school district to direct plays.
“I thought this would be so awesome, and it was a very full-circle moment to tell these kids you can have a successful career in the arts,” she said.
Petruncola said life as an actor takes a bit of juggling.
“I am still a professional working actor and I just closed in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Warwick,” she said. “So I landed here and I get to do this and I get to perform still and I am a voice teacher at the New Windsor Music Academy.”
Petruncola said in the spring she has chosen the musical “Mean Girls” as her next production.