Group Interpretation Stuns Crowd By Qualifying For State Again


The group interpretation performers create an image of scenery using their own bodies and facial expressions for its performance of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Kylie Carrier, Assistant Opinion Editor

 With its version of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a book turned movie about life as a high school student, Group Interpretation placed second at sectionals and performed well at its state competition in Peoria on March 23 by placing fifth in the preliminary round and seventh overall as a group. Sophomore Allan Rodriguez and senior Dan Haller also won All-State Cast.

“I am very proud that we did make it to state again this year. This is the second year in MHS history that Group Interpretation has ever gone to state, and that makes me very happy and very proud of all the hard work we as a team put into this performance,” Abigail Smith, junior, said.

The performers grow each year by continuing to learn about the Group Interpretation process and its onstage experience as well as by gathering ideas at state from watching the competition.

“Everyone has grown since the beginning of the rehearsal process, and we have grown closer as a cast since we spent a lot of time together, and seeing the different performances at state will help us next year with some ideas and a different way to tell a story,” Smith said.

Group Interpretation is a specific type of performance in theatre that doesn’t involve any costumes, scenery or props. Actors must rely on their performance abilities to make the story come to life.

“I decided to be a part of Group Interpretation because I had done it my freshman and sophomore year as well, and it’s a very unique type of theatre,” Natalie Williams, junior, said. “The cast always becomes really close because the way that the ensemble works together is a really important aspect of the show.”

This year’s group worked together to tell the story of a character named Charlie who encountered serious problems and lived life on the sidelines until two of his friends mentor him about how to get more out of life.

“I’m most proud of the way everyone handled the maturity of the story,” Assistant Director Katelyn Staroszczyk, sophomore, said. “They all were very respectful of the scenario, which shows how mature the cast really was.”

Their maturity was one reason for the group’s success.

“The best experience I had during GI was when I got to see that cast right after sectionals,” Staroszczyk said. “They were all so proud of themselves and how they did, and I couldn’t have been more proud of them for the effort they put into this show.”

The Group Interpretation members said the cast was at its highest peak in the season at sectionals. They claimed that it was their “make it or break it” point, and they fully brought all their talent to the stage.

“The biggest challenge for me during Group Interp is always creating larger-than-life characters,” Williams said.  “In GI, all of the character choices that we make are much more exaggerated than in a typical play. The facial expressions are bigger, and the emotion is more emphasized.”

At first, at the beginning of the season, the cast was a bit skeptical of how the show would play out later in the season. As the season continued, the cast saw its true potential and what they were capable of and how they had a true shot at sectionals and even state.

“My advice for future actors is to make bold choices and don’t be afraid to try something new or different because, when you do, you end up having a lot of fun. And of course, join Mundelein Theatre,” Smith said.

In the years to come, the directors and cast want to keep coming back each year with even stronger starts in order to maintain a great reputation for the Mundelein Theatre program.

Smith said, “I love getting to make a different kind of performance with a bunch of my friends, and I love how close the cast gets because, since there is such a small cast, we get really close and become kind of a team, and I really enjoy that.”