SPS Students Put on "Fictional Character Day"
By: Charlotte Willson
During the past two weeks the Specialized Performance Study (SPS) students partook in Fictional Character Day (aka as simply “fictional”), an event in which SPS students take on the task of embodying a character from a book. A much anticipated event at Conard, students build their own “sets” for their fictional characters in order to create an environment for their characters from the book. In the past, the sets would line the main hallway, and when students passed by they would be greeted with an array of characters. This year however, things were much different, as COVID-19 restrictions moved the fictional characters into the smaller gym for people to visit.
Olivia Sokale, a senior in the SPS class, has had the chance to participate in fictional twice. Sokale portrayed Little Red Riding Hood last year and this year she took on Karen Smith from Mean Girls, along with co-plastics Kady, Gretchen, and Regina, who were each played by Kayla Yousman, Lily Gallinato, and Stephanie Reuning-Scherer respectively. She shares that previous years of fictional could have been considered more difficult. She “found that many people didn’t understand that we were in character and would refer to me as myself instead of my character.” Sokale noticed, however, that because of the separation in the gym this year “there was definitely a better understanding of what fictional character day is about ''as the groups that came to see them mainly consisted of classes going out of their way to attend, in comparison to a random array of student interactions in the past.”
Kieran Davis, another senior in the SPS class shares a new perspective, as this year was his first time participating in fictional, through his portrayal of Greg Heffley from the famous Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
He describes Greg saying “There's aspects of him that are definitely relatable to most of us, but for the most part he’s an irredeemable jerk with no self awareness.” Davis shared that his favorite part would be immersion into the world of the character sharing that “You forget about everything else and just exist.” Going on to explain how his “set was Greg’s bedroom, so anybody who talked with me got to chill out on some beanbags and ask about all the props scattered around, which made for some interesting stories.” He also tried to engage people with questions asking “Did my mom let you in?” or Could you hear Rodrick downstairs?” As an avid part of the Conard Drama community, Davis shares the engagement and wonder he experienced that lies within the taking on of such a beloved character.
The annual fictional character experience, even though it looked a little different this year, was not only able to give an immersive and new experience to Conard students who have never stepped foot in the black box, but also gives the SPS students a time to shine. There is already chatter amongst Acting Two students regarding future characters, so as the tradition continues we all look forward to many years of fictional characters in the hall in the future.
Photo courtesy of Corrine Kravetz