This year’s fall production of Oliver! wrapped up to tremendous acclaim. In just six weeks of rehearsals, the cast and crew put together an incredible display of acting, choreography, costumes, and set design.
Acting in his final fall play, graduating student Sydney Wambua ’23 was cast as the undertaker and coffin maker, Mr. Sowerberry. “It was an emotional experience,” says Sydney as he reflects on his time on stage at St. Andrew’s College.
Sydney Wambua’s acting career at SAC began in his Grade 9 year, with his involvement in School of Rock, directed by William Scoular, Head of Drama and Film. “It was my first play in front of hundreds of people, and I initially felt hesitant to reveal my true colours to the audience,” says Sydney, who played a side character named James.
Once Sydney could familiarize himself with the staff and fellow cast members, his true colours began to show. “The cast and crew removed my anxieties due to their inclusivity and recognition of my talents.” He ended up putting on an excellent performance in his Wirth Theatre debut, “the best part was performing! I enjoyed the cast, the choreography; I enjoyed everything.”
The following year presented many challenges to the live theatre community during COVID-19. Learning from home was difficult for students, but Sydney managed to focus on developing his acting skills online via William Scoular’s dramatic arts class. Sydney believes this helped prepare him for his most prominent performing year.
In the 2021-22 school year, William Scoular produced West Side Story and Grease, which are well-known favourites among the student population. In these musicals, Wambua further pushed the boundaries of his abilities by playing Chino in West Side Story and Danny Zuko in Grease, both of which are prominent roles.
With an upgraded commitment of time and energy, Sydney stepped up to the challenge and did not disappoint during the performances. He recognizes that his success comes from attention to detail and having good direction. “Scoular’s directing style is genius, and he is very committed. He can uniquely assign each role to the perfect person.”
Sydney’s significant contributions to dramatic productions will surely be missed after his graduation in June. His acting at SAC and beyond continues to set the standard for young actors at the school to reach.
Story by Sami Al-Hinai, Grade 12 Student