Saturday, April 20, 2024

CoSA Actor Balances High School with Passion for Creativity and Performing

J.P. Wishchuk is a CoSA student who will be performing as Arty in “Lost in Yonkers” at the Scripps Ranch Theatre. Photo by Ken Jacques

Coronado School of the Arts is full of many talented actors and actresses, but John Perry (JP) Wishchuk is currently in the student spotlight. Wishchuk is a sophomore at Coronado High and is balancing his academics with his passion for acting as he is about to perform in a three-week run of Lost in Yonkers at the Scripps Ranch Theatre.

Balancing academics and the arts is a time-consuming feat, but CoSA does a good job in training students to stay on top of all of their work. “I have learned to use every minute I can to get school work done. Communicating with teachers has been key,” says Wishchuk.

Wishchuk started acting in a third grade after-school program. This is where he fell in love with the creative steps involved in putting a show together. He has continued acting in numerous San Diego productions. Some of the theatres he has performed at are the Old Globe, San Diego Musical Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, and, of course, Coronado School of the Arts.

So far he has been in two CoSA productions, Mamma Mia! and Crybaby. “I like CoSA because it’s time out of the busy day to relax and bond around art. Also I have learned countless lessons that I apply to my shows outside of school,” comments Wishchuk.

Outside of CoSA and in his free time, JP enjoys putting outfits together, doing photo shoots with friends, and thrifting. All are creative ways that allow him to express himself off-stage.

As for his goals after high school, Wishchuk says, “I hope to keep up performing in any way I can,” and “I aspire to be creative in new ways, not only on stage.”

Katee Drysdale as Bella, Giovanny Diaz de Leon as Jay, and J.P. Wishchuk as Arty. Photo by Ken Jacques

Currently, JP is about to star in Scripps Ranch Theatre’s production of Lost in Yonkers as Arty. The show follows the story of two teenager brothers (one of which is Wishchuk’s character) who are left to stay with their grandmother, who proves difficult to live with, while their father tries to repair the family’s financial situation. The boys gets to know their grandmother, aunts and an uncle, all of whom Wishchuk jests, “are characters, to say the least…” Wishchuk’s role of Arty shows impressive character development and grows up a great deal after relocating. When asked what his favorite part about his character is, he says, “I love the way he always sees the good in people, and uses humor in tough scenarios.”

Lost In Yonkers is a Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning show written by Neil Simon, and the Scripps Ranch show is directed by San Diego actor, educator and director Jaquelyn Ritz.

After four weeks of rehearsals, the show is ready for a real audience. Wishchuk says the cast really broke down the writing of the play during the rehearsal sessions. He also commented how everyone made great effort into developing authentic familial relationships among the actors.

The show opens May 19th and will run through June 11th at the Scripps Ranch Theatre on the campus of Alliant International University, 9783 Avenue of Nations, San Diego 92131.

Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna is student at Coronado High School and has lived in San Diego her whole life. She is an officer to numerous clubs on campus, including: Feminist Club, Creative Writing Club, and Activism Book Club. Maria is also very involved with community service. Her passions include fashion, reading, writing, and travel. She shows her love of literature by being a Coronado Public Library volunteer in her free time and working on her own novella. She has always loved doing activities that let her express herself creatively. Maria plans to study fashion and writing after graduating from Coronado High in 2024. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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