Sunday, February 24, 2019

From the Mat to the Stage


Actors Larissa Mann (left) Sean White, Anthony Politi and Emily Boxma

Actors Larissa Mann (left) Sean White, Anthony Politi and Emily Boxma

Marc Ruby, Edward Salomon and John Moinius have exchanged grappling with opponents as members of the Lely High School wrestling team for grappling with a script and the other trappings of live theater.

The threesome is part of the youthful cast of the upcoming production of “The Three Musketeers” by students of Sisbarro Acting School that will take the stage March 23 through 25 at Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS).

Students from Lely, Marco Island Academy (MIA), MICMS, Tommie Barfield Elementary School and Mason Classical Academy, in Naples, make up the 12-member cast. They range in age from 9 to 18, the majority of them in high school. Some have previous acting experience, while others, like the contingent of Lely athletes, are making their first foray into live theater.

Anthony Politi and the prone Sean White rehearse a scene.

Anthony Politi and the prone Sean White rehearse a scene.

Ruby and Salomon agreed that since rehearsals began in mid-February, they have found committing lines to memory and their positioning on the stage have been their biggest hurdles. They’re also enjoying an experience they say has brought about growth on several fronts.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Salomon, a junior and heavyweight wrestler, who portrays the head of Cardinal Richelieu’s guards in Ken Ludwig’s theatrical version of Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale. “Every day I come here and laugh, have a lot of fun with people I love, my friends. And you meet new people, people I wouldn’t normally hang out with, and I like them.”

Francisco Jesus Mendez (left), Marc Ruby and Keaton Ashby Photos courtesy Sisbarro Acting School

Francisco Jesus Mendez (left), Marc Ruby and Keaton Ashby Photos courtesy Sisbarro Acting School

A hankering to try acting brought Ruby to the production. The sophomore wrestler in the 175-pound weight class plays the musketeer Aramis.

“You’ve got to bring it, every scene, and not mess up when it’s show time,” he said.

The wrestlers and Sisbarro met through Jeremy Webb, of Naples, who’s writing a stage play based on his autobiographical novel about gang life and how to avoid it, entitled “Destiny.”

“He actually recruited them and to give them some acting experience, so we brought them on board to work on ‘The Three Musketeers,’” she said.

Ken Ludwig is a Sisbarro favorite because of his humorous touch. She directed his play “Leading Ladies,” at the Island Theater Company during the summer of 2015.

Like Dumas’ classic swashbuckler, his adaptation is a tale of heroism, treachery, narrow escapes and honor centered around the exploits of d’Artagnan and musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis, as they contend with protagonists Cardinal Richelieu and the Countess de Winter.

MIA senior Francisco Jesus Mendez, who’ll portray Athos, is also a fan of Ludwig’s take on the time-honored tale.

“I like how, even though it’s set in the 1600s, the dialog can be very relatable,” he said. “It’s just like watching a sitcom. You have some drama, some comedy and some romance in there. I believe the play runs for two hours and within those two hours, a conflict has been resolved.”

Sisbarro said she’ll donate proceeds from ticket sales to MIA and MICMS.

“It’s not a fundraiser,” she said. “It’s my way of saying thank you for welcoming me, because MIA has allowed me to rehearse at the school for the past four years and I’m always grateful to the charter middle school for allowing the YMCA to have its summer theater program over there.”

Students from MIA will help out during performances, which will be staged at MICMS, located at 1401 Trinidad Ave.

Tickets are just $10 per person and they’re being sold at Marco Office Supply, located at 541 Bald Eagle Drive, or at the door before each performance.

For more information on the Sisbarro Acting School and its productions, including “The Three Musketeers,” visit sisbarroactingschool.com/.

What: “The Three Musketeers”

Where: MICMS, 1401 Trinidad Ave., Marco Island

When: March 23 & 24 at 7 PM and March 25 at 3 PM. Doors open 45 minutes before show time.

Cost: $10

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