A Harlequin takes the stage

After an incredible fall play, the drama club is ready to leave everyone speechless again with the winter student-directed Play: Harlequin Holds the Bag.

“The main difference between a normal play and a student-directed one is that the second one focuses moreon educational opportunities beyond cast and crew into the production staff,” Marcus Chapman, the drama activities director, said. “The director and the stage managers, composed of students, basically get to learn how to manage a cast, a budget, a set, and everything that typically I or another adult will do for a full-length show. “

The two student directors, Theo Mellin ‘23 and Maggie Brew ‘23 put themselves out there to figure out how to put this show together.

“For me, the best part of being a director is definitely seeing the show come together. As an actor, it is always like you’re a piece of a puzzle, but when you are the director you’re putting the puzzle together and that’s really satisfying,” Mellin said. “At the same time it’s also the worst part, there are a lot of conflicts to deal with and it really takes the whole team to make it work, so there is always a lot of work to do.”

Being a director is a role that requires dedication and time commitment, but also the strength to figure out many problems, find solutions for them and take important decisions.

“The audition process was not easy at all. This play has a very limited number of characters, just six, so this means that we had to cut out some students. It’s never an easy thing to do for a director but in particular for a student who has to destroy the dreams of friends and classmates,” Brew said.

Despite the problems, after a month of rehearsal, the directors are very satisfied with the play. Chapman, who is working as an advisor for them, is also proud of them for the way they faced the problems met and impressed by how quickly they found solutions.

The comedy, with some romance in it and the use of a lot of themes of Italian street theater, will be represented by trying to honor the historical roots. The themes and the general outlines, which have remained the same for centuries, tell the story of two lovers who want to get married. Unfortunately, Isabelle’s father, Pantalone, hates Leander, her lover. So Leander and his servant, Scapino, have to come up with a plan to get the girl and win her father’s favor. They complete this by tricking Pantalone’s servant, Harlequin, and pulling off an elaborate scheme to make it all happen.

“This play would be completely different from Robin Hood’s play, it’s a lot more crazy. It’s a lot of fun and the humor is not modern. It’s physical humor that has held the theater itself. It’s gonna be awesome but the audience should be prepared to see strange things,” Chapman said.

The directors are excited to represent a commedia dell’arte, get to work with such a small cast, and see each person’s growth throughout the rehearsal process and the performances.

“I’m really excited to see the students come into their own. Our director’s team, Theo and Maggie, are rockstars and I can see, watching them in rehearsal, their brains working and figuring out problems that I came across as a director too,” Chapman said. “It’s really been an absolute pleasure to witness their process and to see the cast growth with the new directing style.”

The show, described as a blast, melodramatic, very slapstick, and farcical, will be performed on Jan. 13 and 14.