by Robyn Hope, Grade 11
The Student Theatre Society was formed four years ago by an enterprising group of students and their diligent teacher representative. Since the very beginning, students have run the society almost exclusively; a director (in this case, Sophia Bryant-Scott) will put forth a proposal for a play, audition students to play the roles and employ others to work with lighting, sound, props and makeup. In four years, we have conquered wild comedies, a heart wrenching documentary, and some quasi-Shakespeare. Now, we take on something entirely different – fire and censorship – with Fahrenheit 451.
This year’s play is a far cry from what we’ve done so far. The topics of media, literature and censorship hit close to home, and the words of C.R. Faber (Will Jevne) and his daughter Clarisse (Sky Richards) convinced us how important it is to address these topics. After the interpretation, the challenge of producing the actual play emerged. For one, our main character Montag (Richard Boness) hardly ever leaves the stage, and his anti-hero/villainous counterpart Beatty (Brian Christiansen) has a complicated character and a five-page monologue. Characters have been mentally destroyed by the media, most notably Montag’s wife, Mildred (Maddy Goodman). We have a dozen people who literally play old books; you will find both Tolkein and Tolstoy on our cast list. A mechanical hound was created entirely from art by Megan Parker and a sound clip courtesy of Oliver Brooks. And, of course, there’s the tricky combination of lighting-sound-acting that we’ve employed to convince you of fire.
That’s what I personally love about our theatre society – anything difficult to produce is handled creatively and quickly by students, and you never know who’s going to come up with what. Our process is about focusing on emotion and character rather than structure. From the response we’ve had in the past, this alternative method produces unexpectedly well-received results. We hope to see you in the audience!
November 18-20, 7 pm
Copeland Lecture Theatre
Tickets at the door after 6:30
($8 for students; $10 for adults)