Drama Students’ Masques of Emotion

Family and friends gathered at the school on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 to appreciate the art of performance with the Drama class students.

Addy Bennett, Editor-in-Chief

The murmurs of the crowd subdued as the light of the MPR clicked off and darkness engulfed the audience. Ann Shaheen, the drama teacher, delivered her introduction and the night began. Senior Rachel Hogan first explained to the audience the process of crafting a character to ready their mindset for the series of performances.

“The Driving Lesson,” performed by sophomore Jaida Smith-Yost, proved to be a wild ride as Smith-Yost relived her character’s hilarious experiences with learning how to drive. Eighth grader Emma Staser then utilized her charming storytelling to talk about acting like a scary movie blonde without meaning to in “Scary Movie Blonde.”

In “Alice Meets the Red Queen,” junior Joy Garrett and senior Emma Sulfridge took on the characters of Alice and the Red Queen, respectively. They journeyed through an altogether zany storyline to find that things are not always as they seem. Carrying on with this theme, eighth grader Elisabeth Fear modified the spirit into a more modern context by getting through her job interview but coming to find she has no time available to work in “The Job Interview.” “Christmas Surprise” saw seventh grader Nya Salahdeen regretting peeking at her Christmas present before it was given. Ninth graders Breanne O’Meara and Taegon Giddings then performed “New Best Friends.” The scene pitted the two characters against each other at first, but over the course of the dialogue, they came to grow as friends.

Things got hilariously neurotic in “The Ketchup Bottle” as a pair of siblings, played by eighth graders Andrew Miller and Ella Miller (not siblings in reality), argued over each other’s annoying tendencies. The comedy that ensued made this one of the most memorable performances of the night. Then things got hilariously embarrassing in “Not the Next Cheerleader” as a cheerleader, played by eighth grader Alexa Hernandez, seemed to lack the skills for tryouts and her best friend, eighth grader Sophia Selin, attempted to tell her so.

In a more touching vein, eighth graders Lauren Taylor and Mika Dubey performed in “Luck.” The scene explored the stories of two girls in need of some luck as they sought new developments, both big and small scale. To finish out the section, sophomore Hayden Laugharn, warned the audience of the dangers of selecting a seat on the school bus in “Take a Seat.”

Next, senior Aaron Smith introduced the next topic: the character and their relationship with their objectives. Eighth grader Sadie Rich and freshman Zane Cortes utilized their spectacular comedic timing and skills in “Pulling the Wool.” Cortes played a perfect exasperated police officer who dreams of retirement while a crook called Bo Peep tries to hook him into fraud.

Taking a serious turn, “He Promised Never Again,” forced sophomore Courtney Gertson’s character to confront freshman Camryn Marshall’s about the latter’s abusive boyfriend. Eighth graders Olivia Doyle and Garrett Lindsey then showed another side of relationships as a Lindsey’s character attempts to ask out Doyle’s through insults in “Puce.” Freshman Jericho Rich then tackled his character’s feelings about coffee in “The Coffee Addict,” however skewed by a clearly caffeinated viewpoint.

Another hysterical scene followed. In “Ebenezer Who?” eighth grader Matt Mouffe’s character awoke with a start as eighth grader Hasley McDaniel sneaked in through his window. McDaniel played an angel with a geography issue who struggles to find her real charge, Ebenezer Scrooge, but instead stumbles into another person’s apartment in the wrong century.

In “Dear Dad,” eighth grader Kate Cochrane’s character struggled to write to a parent jailed for refusing to pay child support, even summoning tears to her eyes to convey her pain. Senior Callie Joiner followed in “The Wake,” in which a grieving young widow complains about her situation and the irony of death. Sophomore Lauren Bander wrapped up the segment by explaining the role of the playwright, and the audience was invited to read the student-written scripts during the intermission that followed.

Afterwards, people returned to their seats to hear junior Seth Freymuth describe emotion in storytelling, which was then exampled in Bander’s performance of “Joan on Trial,” a monologue from Joan’s point of view as she pleaded for her life. Senior Rachel Hogan then took on Shakespeare as she performed “After Seeing Hamlet,” reliving Ophelia’s experience with the title character. Then, in “By the Gravestone,” seventh grader Gracie Gamble and eighth grader Abe Newsum reflected on their past mistakes and their present future, all while in a graveyard.

Senior Matt Johnson then gave his final speech at Horizon Honors with “Tom’s Final Speech,” in which his character Tom, says his bittersweet goodbyes and prepares to leave forever. Fellow senior Aaron Smith lightened up the mood somewhat by talking about death in “Alive in a Box,” in which he portrayed a person thinking about death while trying to eliminate the subject from his mind. Finally, senior Elisa Scott, sophomore Rebecca Hamby, and Freymuth took on the stage.

Scott first described her experience in directing the final scene of the night, “Six Days Does Not a Week Make” from “Barefoot in the Park.” Hamby and Freymuth portrayed feuding newlyweds who turn a small fight into a decision for divorce. The scene captured both hilarity and incredulity to complete the Masque perfectly. Congratulations to all those that were involved!