Student thespians in both the Lower and Upper Schools wowed audiences this week with their two productions – the ninth and tenth grade production of The Glass Menagerie and the fourth grade original play The Happiest Day in Mopeyville, USA. Bravo!
The Glass Menagerie
Ninth and Tenth graders tackled Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, a semi-autobiographical work that propelled the playwright into fame in the mid-1940s. The work explores the relationships between a frustrated writer, Tom Wingfield, his overbearing mother Amanda, and his frail sister Laura. A fourth character, Jim O’Connor, appears later in the second act, and the absent Wingfield patriarch casts a shadow over family throughout the play. Harper Graves ’22 played Amanda, with a southern accent as forceful as the character’s devotion to (and sometimes hatred for) her children. Cal Barton ’21 took the stage as Tom, drawing the audience in immediately with a powerful introductory soliloquy and heartfelt but ultimately unsuccessful passionate attempts at reasoning with Amanda. Mimi Brown ’21 was Laura, whose timid frailty inspired pity while her fear of the outside world was rendered perfectly understandable. The three actors moved about the small, perfectly-appointed set with the familiarity of any family struggling to survive in less than ideal conditions. James Hammersmith ’21 joined the cast in the second of two scenes, with his Jim O’Connor steadfastly refusing to believe that he had peaked in high school.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Glass Menagerie for a wonderful series of performances in the Vincent Price Theatre last weekend.
The Happiest Day in Mopeyville
Fourth grade actors also explored happiness in their production this week, The Happiest Day in Mopeyville, USA. Missy Heinemann, Performing Arts Teacher for the Lower and Middle School, wrote the play. The main character, Sam GoLucky, lives in Happyville. When she interviews her Granny Sue Elle for a social studies project, she learns about Mopeyville, a town that’s decidedly less happy than Happyville. The production is sprinkled with fun “advertisements” and a variety of scenes that allowed all the student thespians to shine. Each of the fourth grade drama classes performed The Happiest Day in Mopeyville twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon on May 7 and 8. The afternoon performances were live-streamed for families unable to come to campus.
Bravo to the class of 2027 for a delightful performance and for bringing both Happyville and Mopeyville to life!