For Maddy Pace-Chizmar, playing the titular role in "The Drowsy Chaperone" next weekend will be a bit challenging because she has to act like she's tipsy.

The New Albany High School junior said she has spent a fair amount of time in front of the mirror to prepare for her role as Beatrice, an actress.

Pace-Chizmar said she focuses on making sure her facial expressions are big enough to convey her feelings to the audience, while also practicing the movements and gestures she'll do as she performs her lines.

"It's something that you have to set your mind to," she said.

Pace-Chizmar and other New Albany students are busy preparing for the school's fall musical production of "The Drowsy Chaperone." Performances begin Nov. 16 at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road.

Director Elliott Lemberg said he saw the musical as a chance for the theater department to perform a true comedy filled with farce and a great deal of physical and verbal humor.

"I wanted to do this show because it was hysterically funny," he said.

The musical is a show within a show, as the narrator presents a fictional musical set in 1928, Lemberg said. The jazzy music and dance styles reference that era, he said.

Ben Whitted, a 17-year-old senior, said he has prepared for his role by immersing himself in jazz and studying Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra.

"I am indulging in the '20s," he said.

Whitted plays Percy Hyman, a man he describes as a smooth fellow who lacks depth.

While the role is a new one for Whitted, so is acting.

Whitted said "The Drowsy Chaperone" is his first musical and he always had wanted to give theater a try.

Although acting isn't new for senior Lorna Flint, she said this is the first time she has portrayed a narrator.

As the narrator, the 17-year-old said she speaks in every scene. She still has to remember her lines and studies them daily, she said.

Although she is a narrator, Flint said, she still is playing a character who is exuberant, funny and over the top.

To help get herself into her role, she said, she thinks about the life of her character and how she would think and act.

"You create that story, and then you fall into that mindset of who that person is," Flint said.

Performances of "The Drowsy Chaperone" will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17 and at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the McCoy.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 614-469-0939 or visiting ticketmaster.com.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah