JOLIET – Joliet Catholic Academy recently wrapped up weekend performances of this year’s fall play: “The Importance of Being Earnest."
For the first time in school history, the production was chosen as a finalist to appear at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival, the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the world. Theatre Fest, produced by the Illinois Theatre Association, takes place this year from Jan. 5 to Jan. 7 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
JCA drama director Jenn Szynal has been instrumental in engaging students at the North Larkin Avenue campus throughout her 11 years as a teacher and nine years as drama director; the family atmosphere of JCA especially shines through when looking at this year’s lead cast members.
JCA senior Shelbi Voss was once a freshman and sophomore volleyball player at the school and has taken her talents to the stage. Junior Drew Gould was a football/baseball player at school in his underclassmen years at JCA and changed gears this year, in part due to what he says is an atmosphere Szynal has created on campus.
Gould and Voss were joined as leads by junior Jimmy Folino (also a member of the JCA varsity soccer and volleyball teams), senior Bailey Garland and senior Carley Ostir.