“Space Girl” featured out-of-this-world performances from Chagrin seniors


photo courtesy of zenith editor in chief mary catherine cain

“Space Girl” opened on Thursday, November 10 at the CFHS Black Box Theater to roaring praise.

“Space Girl” follows a young alien girl named Arugula and her father Nancy as they travel to Earth to find a way to stop climate change. As a sixteen-year-old alien, Arugula struggles to understand human customs but makes friends along the way as she finds a passion in Roller Derby.

Senior Cara Myers starred as Arugula. In Chagrin, she has already played Tonya in “Mamma Mia” and Marci in “Almost Maine”.

“I was a new student last year, so it was really great to meet all the people here,” Myers said.

Although it’s only Myers second year in Chagrin, she has participated in theater since she was eight. In fifth grade, she performed in the National Tour of the Tony Award winning musical: “Ragtime”.

“One day my mom was on Facebook when I was in 5th grade and my brother was in 7th. She saw a casting call for a national tour and for nine months, me and my brother and my mom lived on a bus,” Myers explained.

Students practiced for “Space Girl” from October to mid-November as practices ranged from 15 minutes to four hours as the performance day approached. On Wednesday, November 9, they had their first full dress rehearsal at school.

During the school day, the new smoke machine caused the fire alarm to go off. The show continued; however, they canceled the smoke machine at the last minute. Senior Ryan Hill could not enter with smoke as his role of the Zlagdorian Chancellor. Despite the interruption, the students still enjoyed the experience of putting on the show for the first time.

“We did a Wednesday performance during the school day so that was really, really fun because we had some of the academy kids. They watched it and the entire time they were gasping,” Myers explained.

Along with Myers, senior Olivia Wirbel played Arugula’s father Nancy. Now, in her final year in Chagrin, she’s excited to have such a big role.

“I never had an opportunity to memorize that many lines and get that large of a part. It was phenomenal. Everyone was so kind and it was truly amazing,” Wirbel shared.

Wirbel participated in all three fall plays throughout her high school career as she played Rhonda in “Almost Maine” and was the only freshman to perform in the 2019 performance of “The Butler Did It”. However, “Space Girl” was a special experience as she starred in many scenes throughout the play.

“My favorite scene to perform was probably the opening scene because I didn’t have many lines and I just got to be there in the moment and take in the experience of what was going on,” Wirbel said.

Senior Mary Ann Hoelzel played Charlotte in the play – one of Arugula’s few human friends. For most of the play, Hoelzel and Myers share scenes as the two characters begin to relate to each other despite coming from two different planets.

“Our chemistry on stage is really easy and it’s really easy to make choices and be an actor when you’re around someone you’re comfortable with,” Hoelzel shared.

Hoelzel hopes to pursue music in the future as she explores her passions in classical music and opera.

“I’m applying to BW [Baldwin Wallace] for vocal performance. I’m gonna do an improv group and little shows,” Hoelzel explained.

All three seniors are excited to perform in the upcoming spring musical: “Mean Girls”. However, they all enjoyed the experience of performing in “Space Girl” as their final fall show.

“It was definitely a fun time,” Hoelzel said. “Overall, I really enjoyed the cast and I really liked having a lot of my friends in the cast.”