Imagine writing, directing and producing your own show. For Maddy Eberhardt (inset), this dream has become a reality.
Maddy is a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy and she has been a part of the school’s musicals and the all-girls a cappella singing group, the Gemtones. Maddy also co-founded the school’s drama club and is executive president of the Student Council. During the summer months, she takes part in the Ken-Ton STAGE shows. When she graduates, she plans to study English and musical theater. She dreams of owning a theater company someday.
Maddy’s play is called “The Extremely Ordinary Times of Cornelia Vanguard.” Ellie Hamlett, a junior, will play Cornelia Vanguard; Francesca Harvy, also a junior, will play the Narrator/Conscience; Drake Chaney, a senior at Canisius High School, will play Zay; and Jake Marciniak, a senior at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, will play Jay.
The play is the story of Cornelia, a girl who is anxious about her future and sets off to figure out who she is and how she wants to live her life. Along the way, she meets people who help her. It is a story about finding yourself and deciding what’s important to you. It took Maddy about three months to write the play, but she wrote more than half of it one night in late August. After the majority of it was done, Maddy showed it to her friends and teachers. After she received their feedback, she added parts here and there until it was complete, in October.
“Sometimes when I’m writing, I feel the emotions in the story I’m working on ... the story practically writes itself,” Maddy said. “I don’t consciously decide what a character will do; it’s more of something I already decided inside and I just wait until the story is ready to finish telling itself. I think the first conscious thought I had of Cornelia Vanguard and her crazy life came to me like most of my good ideas – in the shower after a long day.”
Maddy stresses what a dream it is to be able to have her work performed on stage. Maddy has been in several shows before, but she’s always been on stage, never behind the scenes.
“It is a lot of stress and pressure to be the one making the big decisions,” she said, “but every second has been the greatest, most crazy adventure I’ve had yet. Even though I’m a student shouting out direction and stuff, they are very good about respecting me and my ideas.”
Along with the cast, Maddy said she would like to give credit to Lauren Dirken and Rebecca Cefaratti.
“Without them, this would still just be words on paper,” Maddy said. “I couldn’t do any of it alone.”
The show will be presented at 7 p.m. April 26 in Mount St. Mary Academy, 3756 Delaware Ave., Tonawanda. Tickets are $8 presale and $10 dollars at the door.
Rebecca Brandel is a freshman at Mount St. Mary Academy.