From Titus to Aaron: Meet the Cast

Kajal Dongre ’22 plays Titus Andronicus in this year's II Form Shakespeare production, Titus Andronicus. According to Dongre, her character a war hero returning to Rome who gets “caught in a cycle of revenge” that culminates in a series of “sometimes scary, shocking events.”

Kajal Dongre ’22 plays Titus Andronicus in this year's II Form Shakespeare production, Titus Andronicus. According to Dongre, her character a war hero returning to Rome who gets “caught in a cycle of revenge” that culminates in a series of “sometimes scary, shocking events.” New to both acting and The Periwig Club at Lawrenceville, Kajal believes acting at Lawrenceville for the first time has been unlike anything she has ever done before and has “grown so much under the guidance of [Performing Arts Master Matthew Campbell].” Her positive experiences during II Form Shakespeare left her eager to become more involved in Periwig. Titus Andronicus is a complex and nuanced character, and for Dongre, “understanding everything that is going on internally and figuring out exactly how to portray that to the audience” has been an exciting challenge. She fondly recalls the energy during rehearsals, where “everyone is having fun, playing theater games, and working hard to put together this production.” Dongre, however, is not looking forward to the “post-show blues.” She said, “Titus has been such a big part of my time at Lawrenceville for the last few months, and I’m super sad to see it all come to an end.”

Tessia Thomas ’22 plays Marcus Andronicus, Titus’ brother and a Roman senator. Her character serves as the narrator, “often reacting alongside the audience to certain events.” She has attended II Form Shakespeare productions in the past and was always “impressed by the level of craftsmanship and thoughtfulness that went behind every aspect of a [II Form] performance.” Overall, she finds II Form Shakespeare to be “a wonderful introduction to Periwig.”

Her greatest acting struggle has been appropriately reacting to the “the incredible pain and violence that Marcus witnesses,” since she is unable to relate to these experiences. Due to the intense, volatile nature of the show, she hopes to the audience feels “horrified, disgusted, and really freaked out because getting those reactions means that [she] did [her] job well.” Thomas’ biggest fear for opening night is “being too wound up to really enjoy the moment when performing.” Shes wants the performance to “start a productive conversation about some of the heavy themes present in the show and especially how they relate to Lawrenceville culture” including rape and moral dilemmas.

Bobby Cloninger ’22 plays Aaron, the main antagonist of the show. Aaron causes “ a number of horrible things to happen.” Admittedly, his first Periwig experience has been intimidating, but Campbell, from whom Cloninger did not know what to expect, has served as a mentor throughout the production, and Cloninger has enjoyed “having the chance to become really close friends with [his] classmates.” Although memorizing lines has been a challenge, Cloninger remarks that “completing each and every scene without a script in [his] hands has made all [his] work pay off.” Opening night, his biggest fear is laughing when making eye contact with friends on the cast. Similar to Thomas, he hopes audience members are “scared, disgusted, or freaked out.”