Marissa Hertzfeld’s First Play at Piedmont a Success


Lindsey Powell, Journalist

Piedmont’s new Drama and Theatre teacher, Marissa Hertzfeld, made her big debut on April 1 and 2 with her production of Alice in Wonderland. The first play Piedmont has performed in five years, Alice in Wonderland far surpassed Hertzfeld’s goal in terms of attendance. “We sold almost 450 tickets over the two nights,” said Hertzfeld. “It was incredible to see so many people from the community come out to enjoy live theatre.”

Freshman Riley Kiser, one of the two students who took on the role of Alice, said, “I know that everyone in the cast poured themselves into it, and it paid off. We all did an amazing job, and no one person was less important than another; we couldn’t have done it without anybody.”

“Our cast and crew did AMAZING at bringing this play to life,” Hertzfeld agreed. Though the production couldn’t boast a large budget or abundance of special effects, it allowed the play to especially focus on the acting talents of the students. “We had to do a lot of problem solving to get the play to look the way we wanted it to. Overall, we had huge success!”

Freshman Lenah Tucker, who also portrayed Alice, added, “This was the first show I did that the two shows weren’t drastically different. In past experiences, there would be one show that was okay, and one that was great. In this case, it was more of a ‘both shows were so good that I can’t tell the difference.’” Though Tucker has past experience in the performing arts, Alice in Wonderland was the freshman’s first leading role. “It was a lot of fun,” Tucker said. “I loved the cast, and I made a lot of new friends.”

Kiser, on the other hand, was new to the acting world. Alice in Wonderland was the student’s first play. “Mrs. Hertzfeld is the best director I could’ve ever asked for,” said Kiser. “She was always patient with the actors, yet was honest as to when we could do something better. That quality helped me to improve drastically, and I know it did the same for others.”

Hertzfeld has high hopes for the future of Piedmont’s theatre program. In fact, there’s already a few works in progress. “Our advanced theatre class will be doing a one-act, which they will take to the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) High School Play Festival.” In terms of extra-curricular productions, Hertzfeld said, “I am also hoping to do an after school production in the winter and spring. I am leaning towards doing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe….”

With such a dedicated cast and crew, Alice in Wonderland achieved great success among students and spectators of the community, and it may be the stepping stone for Hertzfeld to expand Piedmont’s drama and theatre programs in the near future.