Periwig Club & Latinos Unidos Present Augusta and Noble

This past Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27 at 7PM, the Periwig Club will perform Augusta and Noble by Carlos Murillo, the third play reading of the Jean S. Stephens Play Reading Series. It will take place over Zoom with a runtime of 90 minutes. As a collaboration between Periwig and the Latinos Unidos club, Augusta and Noble tells the story of Gabi, a young girl, and her life within a Latinx community in Chicago. The play follows Gabi as she adjusts to attending a preparatory high school while simultaneously living in a fantastical realm that teaches her about her family's story as Mexican immigrants. Throughout the play, Gabi explores her understanding of what it means to be an American with her Mexican heritage.

This past Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27 at 7PM, the Periwig Club will perform Augusta and Noble by Carlos Murillo, the third play reading of the Jean S. Stephens Play Reading Series. It will take place over Zoom with a runtime of 90 minutes. As a collaboration between Periwig and the Latinos Unidos club, Augusta and Noble tells the story of Gabi, a young girl, and her life within a Latinx community in Chicago. The play follows Gabi as she adjusts to attending a preparatory high school while simultaneously living in a fantastical realm that teaches her about her family's story as Mexican immigrants. Throughout the play, Gabi explores her understanding of what it means to be an American with her Mexican heritage.

Unlike typical Periwig productions, the virtual play reading will not be memorized or staged, and the actors will perform with few rehearsals under their belt. Due to the changes Lawrenceville has made amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the cast and crew of Augusta and Noble faced countless obstacles. For Periwig Acting Representative Ashley Gelber '21, the most important and difficult challenge was appropriately casting the show: "We did not want to miscast anyone, so making sure we had enough people to fill the roles was our primary concern."

Allison Calderon '24, who plays Gabi, looks forward to having the opportunity to perform as she is new to Periwig and has little experience with acting. For her, "it is a privilege to be [playing] such an amazing young lady. It feels unreal to be part of a play [as a Freshman and] representing the Hispanic and Latinx community at Lawrenceville." Similarly, Coco Sandoval '22, who plays La Mujer Azul, auditioned for the play as she had grown up hearing similar stories and knew that her identity as a Mexican-American would help her bring her character to life.

Eddie Newsom '23, who plays Ricardo, a half Polish, half Puerto Rican teenager, commented, "I'm pretty excited to see how the Zoom show plays out. I've done a few [plays], but I’m still excited for what comes my way!" As an actor who has performed in previous Perwig play readings, being in a significantly longer play is especially engaging for Newsom.

On moving forward, Eleni Lefakis '21, member of Periwig's Executive Council and the director of Augusta and Noble, noted that the Periwig Club will continue to collaborate with different clubs on campus and to become more inclusive of the general Lawrenceville community. "[More community involvement] was one of the goals of this play-reading series. I do think that, in the following years, we'll start getting into contact with [different] clubs earlier [in the school year]. It's much easier [for students] to want to sign up for something when [the invitation is] coming from your club leader and not just someone from Periwig who you aren't familiar with."

Lack of representation of racial minorities has long been an issue in theater. Latinx stories like the one told in Augusta and Noble are rarely produced at Lawrenceville. According to stage manager Alexis Gonzalez '22, Augusta and Noble is a significant play because it not only celebrates the Latinx community at Lawrenceville but also shares the Latinx "culture with the community."

"I'm very proud of [the play] because both of the presidents of Periwig, [Ben Polaski '21], and I are actually Hispanic. [I] feel warm and fuzzy [thinking] that I get to do a Hispanic play. It's nice to get to see a show that [allows you to] see the [Latinx] community in such a cool way," said Lefakis.

Augusta and Noble is a compelling, character-driven piece about the story of a first-generation, Mexican-American teenager. The play serves as an important step for the Performing Arts Department to diversify Periwig productions and for the School to represent the voices of the Lawrenceville Latinx community.

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