To be or not to be…their guest


Princess Anne’s Leader Workshop staff for the 2019-2020 school year performs their introductory song to Round-Up. Photo Courtesy of Bella Coulter.

Abby Hendrickson, Staff Writer

By Abby Hendrickson

The curtains whizzed open to reveal a cooly lit stage, empty for all but snowflakes hanging over the stage. Almost immediately, a grizzled Captain Hook (Daniel Bojo) and glamorous Cruella Devil (Lola Lapier), sporting her high-heeled pumps, make their way arm in arm onto the stage. 

One by one, more Leadership Workshop staffers dressed as various fairytale characters stepped into the spotlight. In a few minutes, appearances were made by Disney princesses Cinderella (Sarah Olander), Elsa (Katie Smith), and Snow White (Madeline Mckechnie) along with many other characters such as the Seven Dwarves.

The advertisement for the annual roundup to introduce Workshop to those not familiar with the three-day outing at Chesapeake’s Triple-R Ranch, included the famous phrase “Be Our Guest” from the popular song of Beauty and the Beast, encouraging the audience to expect a performance dealing with magic and well-known characters. Staffers worked the basic idea of Workshop and the importance of applying, throughout the script by having multiple characters comment on the magic that lies at Triple-R where the aim is for everyone to bond and grow as a leader. 

The skit’s plotline included various fairytale characters attending an auction, where random items were sold. The most valued of the items for sale were the coveted Workshop applications (which all characters hoped to claim). The climax was when Hook and Devil (the main villainous characters) stole all of the Workshop applications from the auctioneers, wreaking panic and chaos in the crowd. Contrary to everyone’s beliefs, the stolen applications turned out to be a hoax with the real ones being distributed to the crowd once the character Quasimodo (Akaash Kamdar) revealed he had them hidden from the antagonists the whole time. 

After this performance, everyone but Kamdar left the stage. Being the Leadership Workshop 2020 coordinator, Kamdar delved into his memories of past workshops and explained the special significance they all held in his life. Accompanying his speech was a slideshow consisting of photos and videos of past workshops, visuals that encapsulated the essence of the experience. 

Senior Lola Lapier acting out a skit as Cruella de Ville with Senior Daniel Bojo as Captain Hook. Photo Courtesy of Bella Coulter.

Kamdar then captivated the audience’s attention while announcing each staffer’s name, as they resumed their stage positions, creating a vibrant array of rainbows from their colorful past council shirts..With all staffers in alignment across the stage, the audience was silently anticipating what was to come as Kamdar quickly ran into position.

The intro music to “Bye Bye Bye” by The Backstreet Boys shattered the silence as the staffers moved in unison to a choreographed dance while singing re-invented lyrics. Their rendition was all about applying to Workshop and how all students should “take a chance” and apply at least once during their time at PA. 

The event ended with staffers lined up shoulder to shoulder and stepping forward, proudly proclaiming their name and leadership positions they hold with the conclusion, “And I am a Workshop staffer.”

The event was clearly well practiced and was aimed at encouraging students, specifically underclassmen, to apply to Leadership Workshop for a weekend in late March.

Ava Bojo wrote on her experience of round-up saying, “When first walking into roundup, I was initially expecting a long winded presentation on the history of workshop, but instead it was like watching a play (there was comedy, singing, and more).” 

Unlike most freshmen who are just getting to know PA and its traditions, Bojo is in a unique position as her older brother is currently on staff, and her sister (a Kellam alum) also was a Workshop staffer.

“I am trying to keep my expectations at a minimum, but I’m really excited to experience it for the first time!!”