Fall play: a satirical take on producing theatre

By Efrata Solomon, Hawkeye Staff

Clear your calendars and cancel all your plans! Despite being barely two months into the school year, the MTHS drama department has already been hard at work for the first production of the 2022-2023 school year, and the showtimes for the play are just around the corner. 

This year, the fall production, called “The One Act Play That Goes Wrong,” is a self-aware comedy about the production of a play itself, premiering on Thursday, Nov. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 19. The initial performance originally ran in London at the Old Red Lion Theatre in 2012, written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sawyer and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre Company. 

“It’s a play about a play, which is a murder mystery about who murdered a wealthy socialite in the middle of the night,” senior Jack Williams said, who plays the director Chris. Chris also plays the esteemed local inspector in the murder mystery.

At first, the play sounds pretty standard. However, the production is about to run anything but smoothly, as implied by the title. Senior Maryana Ward, who plays the company’s stage manager Annie, illustrates some of the chaos that ensues during this production.

Ward describes a scene in the play where the lead actress in the murder mystery, played by sophomore Seble Daniel, gets knocked unconscious. Annie is forced to replace her and actually warms up to her new role in the play, until she gets knocked out as well and has to be lifted through a window to be removed from the stage. Both the lead actress and Annie eventually regain consciousness, and Annie’s newfound passion for acting leads to a fight between the two on stage.

“My favorite scene has to be when [Annie and Sandra] get into a catfight on stage,” sophomore and stage technician Amitha Thomas said. With these glowing descriptions, how could this play not pique your interest?

As of writing this article, the play is almost done and ready to premiere.

“We’re making really good progress and it’s a really good play. We’ve already blocked (choreographed) everything,” Thomas said. 

“We’re on the verge of doing costumes, and we’re just a few days away from tech work,” Williams said. “I was worried earlier about the play’s progress, but I feel better now.” 

Ward has made a lot of personal progress as an actress throughout this play. 

“In the show, I have to be very dramatic and over the top, and it’s really brought me out of my comfort zone. It taught me not to care what other people think,” Ward said.

Williams, Ward and Thomas all drew different interpretations of the show’s main theme, something hard to pinpoint due to the play being a satire.

“There aren’t really any grand moral themes,” Williams said. “we’re mainly there to make people laugh.” 

“Don’t be hard on yourself when you make mistakes, laugh at them, and work with what you have,” Ward said.

“Even if you mess up, there’s always a bright side,” Thomas said.

Drama teacher Jeannie Brzovic just wants to entertain the audience and hopes they have a few good laughs. She also encourages anyone interested in future theater projects to audition for the winter play.

“Auditions for our second winter play will open soon [after the performance of this play]. It’s another comedy called ‘Rumors.’ Anyone can and should audition for it,” Brzovic said. “Rumors” is a play by Neil Simon that premiered in 1988, focusing on contrived and ridiculous situations about a chaotic dinner party.

For any students who want to watch the fall play, all tickets are sold at the door. Brzovic recommends arriving 20-30 minutes before the production starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8 for general admission and $6 for children 13 or under, senior citizens, or those with ASB cards.

“We’ve had a lot of fun doing the play because it’s such an unusual comedy,” Brzovic said.

“I think it’s gonna be a good show. I hope for a good crowd and that it goes well,” Williams said.

Will someone actually break a leg in this disastrous play? You’ll never know unless you decide to see the play on Nov. 17, 18 or 19, so make sure you buy a ticket to watch it!