Fall of the Fall Play: Arising from the BOTTOM

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Fall of the Fall Play: Arising from the BOTTOM

Mary Kate Hipp, PR/Staff Writer

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My name is Mary Kate Hipp, I am a senior and a veteran of Jonathan Alder High School’s theatrical performances. I love being on stage. As cliche as it sounds, there’s something about being on a stage that gives me such a rush. I am privileged to say that I have never been a part of a performance and genuinely not been confident in the production–until A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show has been a gradual decline; the cast has been let down more times than I can count on my own two hands.

Before listing the series of events that ensued, I figured I should give a little background. Director Stephanie Tinberg chose the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as the fall play. The Winter Print Edition of The Pioneer Press released an article about the play as well as details regarding the play’s status at the time; including a summary of the play (three storylines that all affect each other in the long run that leads to comedy, intrigue, and inevitable Shakespeare satire!).  Since then the play has declined on a multitude of levels. The cast list was posted on September 17th, 2018 with the performance dates set for November 16th-November 19th, 2018. Now that all the general information is out of the way, below is a walkthrough of the series of unfortunate events that have occurred since then:

  1. The cast list was posted without a male lead, Demetrius (because of the lack of males interested in theatre at Jonathan Alder)
  2. Another male lead, Bottom, quit for personal reasons
  3. A male volunteered to fill in for Bottom
  4. Another male volunteered to play Demetrius’ role…we were set to roll
  5. The volunteer for Bottom’s role had to resign for his own personal reasons
  6. Muddled through without a Bottom…it was rather difficult
  7. In mid-October the cast was given three options: quit the play altogether, perform “one acts” on the scheduled November dates, or move the performance dates to January 2019
  9. The performances were officially moved to January 17-20, 2019
  10. One of the mechanicals, a role in the play, had to resign due to basketball commitments
  11. Another one of our male leads, Oberon, was not able to make a multitude of practices
  12. Another one of our mechanicals had to quit due to personal reasons
  13. Any remaining hope was lost. Multiple “pep talks” were given
  14. Much tension built upon the cast for a plethora of reasons
  15. Winter break
  16. Demetrius quit
  17. One of our lead girls broke her wrist
  18. Set build
  19. Return from Winter Break
  20. Danny Rodriguez, a graduate of the class of 2018, filled in the role of Demetrius
  21. Our Oberon still had not returned to practice
  22. Oberon returned!

After that hefty list, you may be under the impression that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a tragedy. On the contrary, it is, in fact, a comedy. This year, everything seems to be backward though. In any other year void a major list of setbacks, we would be running our show once or twice a night with full costumes, makeup, lights, and microphones at this point in the rehearsal process. But alas, here we are, a week from opening night, still blocking scenes and learning lines, never having had our tech team or full crew at rehearsals.

Since facing all these complications, the cast and directors are nothing less than determined to make this play worth all our time, stress, and fountains of tears. Since returning from winter break, our motivation levels have skyrocketed. Yes, every single cast member is guilty of unrelenting complaining. After experiencing twenty-two setbacks, who wouldn’t be a little discouraged? However, at practice, we all want nothing more than a perfect show where every seat is filled. Fall play is notorious for not selling nearly as many tickets as musical. The directors, cast, and crew all are working tirelessly in hopes that all of our efforts may be worthwhile.

The performances are January 17th at 7:30 p.m., January 18th at 7:30 p.m., January 19th at 7:30 p.m., and January 20th at 2:00 p.m…

The cast sincerely asks you to come to watch all of our troubles come to life. Some fellow peers that have never set foot on stage have been given an opportunity to shine and have proven their abilities worthy of an audience.

Though I am devastated, resentful, and infuriated with the situation the fall play has been put in and it may seem as though I hate it; I have never seen a group of people work harder or be more determined in my life. Through the hardships, an entirely different story has prevailed that is worth your time. This perseverance is enough to keep my love of fall play, or, I suppose “winter play,” alive. Fall play may have fallen, but winter play has melted away all of the treacheries the fall play presented.

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