Art Meets Life

May 07, 2021

By Suzanne Leake, Assistant Middle School Dean and Theatre Director

We began this rather unusual school year with many unknowns ahead of us, but one thing was certain—the show must go on. So next week, the middle school will bring you its virtual production of Box, A Vignette Play in One Act by Lindsay Price.

Middle school is that space in life where the arc of self-discovery condenses itself, and students grow by leaps and bounds—physically, emotionally and mentally—over a period of just a few years. Box shares that arc and exposes the daily internal and external struggles of the “in-between” years.

Box also connects to some of the themes of this school year, as we have all learned to navigate virtual school together, each from our own little ‘boxes’ on Google Meet. And just like the characters in the play, we have persevered through the trials and tribulations of working within the confines of our boxes to bring this production right to your homes! Developing a theatrical production within the context of a hybrid school model during the pandemic has been a challenge, but it did not stop us from holding auditions, rehearsing, and involving as many community members as we could.

Learning to play to an invisible audience required the actors to take a very different approach. While some were able to record their scenes with us in person, others chose to film remotely. They received one-to-one training on finding the camera, and working past all the inevitable background noise distractions (Needless to say, we have a collection of bloopers that tell the story!) Actors reached an array of milestones this year, and though this production will be enjoyable to all who watch, it will be especially meaningful to members of our community who know the cast personally and have witnessed their growth.

The success of Box can be attributed to the dedication of the young theatre artists involved with this production. The set designers met during lunch to work on digital portraits; the musicians worked in small groups to compose original music; and our actors, new and seasoned, have rehearsed since the beginning of the school year. And thanks to the hard work put forth by our entire production team— Assistant Director John Grimsley, Music Director and Assistant Director Catherine Leto-Carboy, and especially Film Editor Johnny Young—together we overcame what we thought would be an insurmountable challenge. We look forward to sharing our production with you! Stay tuned for an announcement next week for the premiere date and link to view.

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