BY GENNA NORDLING
For one night only, the CCHS Thespians ruled the stage in their production of “… And Others” by Dennis Bush. The 30-minute show told the story of a girl, Amanda, with dissociative identity disorder recounting the traumatic event that had caused her to begin dissociating from reality and her identity.
With such a sensitive and complex topic, the story had to be told accurately and clearly for the audience so the show could make sense. Luckily, the Thespians are stellar storytellers and all of the spectacular elements of “… And Others” came together and perfectly expressed the message the show was telling.
The acting in this show was incredible. The first lines of the show, spoken by Gabriela Phillips (playing the lead character, Amanda), were delivered with such strong emotion and passion, immediately setting the tone for the rest of the show.
The rest of the cast’s acting was also spot on. The actors truly embodied their characters, delivering their lines in a way that made it easier to tell which facets of Amanda’s identity they were playing.
All of the spectacular elements of “… And Others” came together and perfectly expressed the message the show was telling.
The set design, though simple, was incredibly important to the storytelling in the show. The characters are the most crucial part of the story, so an extravagant set was not necessary. The setting of the actual story was told through the characters’ accounts of what was happening, so the simple set was actually beneficial to the show as a whole.
Costumes and makeup also served to highlight the differences in the characters, as Amanda was the only character in street clothes, while her different identities were adorned in black with splatters of color painted on their faces and hands. This simple approach to the look of the characters allowed their personalities to shine, making it easier for the audience to understand that these characters are just the result of dissociative identity disorder, not actual people.
Though all of the actors were amazing, the lighting was one of the main stars of the show. When a new character would speak, the lights would change color, matching the makeup of who was speaking or reflecting the tone of the dialogue as a whole. It added an interesting and dynamic element to the production that made it very entertaining.
The lighting was one of the main stars of the show.
Those who have been to past Thespians shows would know that technical difficulties— particularly sound difficulties— are not uncommon. However, in this production, there were no technical difficulties and the sound was clear throughout the show.
“… And Others” was equally impressive as it was entertaining, since it was completely student-produced. The show’s student director (Rylee Berger), composer (Dustin Symonette), stage manager (Christina Caride) and lighting designer (Katie Behr) all deserve the same amount of praise as the amazing talent that was on stage.
Though it was not a part of the show, after curtain call, the new Thespians sponsor and troupe director Lucia Deus thanked everyone for coming to the show and gave all of the seniors involved in the production a rose as a celebration for their final first show of the year.
The Thespians have truly outdone themselves with this production and it shows that they have a promising year ahead. With amazing acting, lighting, makeup, costumes and set design, the storytelling in “… And Others” was flawless and a great start to the school year.
- Superb acting
- Creative use of lights
- Simple, yet effective set
- Occasional mistakes in reciting lines
Photo by Alexandra Sansone