Students exhibit creativity in fall play “Museum”


Vincent Alban

Chase Markoff (left) and Ted Horowitz (right) rehearsing for Museum, which shows on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th of October.

Sarah Faber, Opinion Design Editor

This weekend, a cast of 40 Upper School Students will perform Museum– an eclectic, character-driven comedy by playwright Tina Howe.

Museum was chosen as the fall play towards to end of last school year because of its flexibility to have a larger cast, and its comedic contrast from last year’s grim The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Director Christopher Briante was initially hoping to do a murder mystery, but couldn’t find one with enough roles to make sure everyone, especially new students, could get involved. “I did some research and talked to some colleagues about successful high school productions that they had done at their school, and a lot of them recommended Museum, which I had vaguely heard about,” said Director Chris Briante. “I had known about [playwright] Tina Howe, and I was excited to find a female playwright, as we haven’t done a play by a female playwright in this theater in a number of years.”

While Briante admits there is no plot of the show, the production centers around characters at a museum on the last day of an art exhibit. Auditions for Museum were held on the first day of school, and the cast has been working ever since. The cast is relatively diverse in age, with many theater veterans returning for their senior year, as well as a good number of underclassmen. The actors have worked on creating backstories for their characters, and have even done improv exercises to get acquainted with their role. For example, the show features two plumbers; these characters were made up completely by the students extrapolating from four lines of script said by “passersby three and four”.

“What makes the show really entertaining is that a lot of the characters are stereotypes,” said Stage Manager Sam New.  “It’s very funny to watch that, and also how there are some characters that are just crazy, and the actors do a really great job of staying in character realistically.”

In addition, the show will have an interactive element. It is written into the script that before the play starts, the audience is welcome to come up on stage, explore the art exhibit, and even interact with some characters. The set is worked around the fact that part of the stage in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre was taken off. “We had this area called the ‘thrust stage’ that stuck out ten to fifteen feet, and that has been removed to try to create a better space for morning meeting. We have less space on stage than we typically do,” added Briante. However, Briante plans to utilize this space to add a three-dimensional aspect to the show, with some actors on the ground, some on stage, and some on a set that has been built by the Theater Tech co curricular and minor. Museum is playing Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:00pm in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre.