Theatre Preview

Few want to stick around during the long weekends at PA. Even fewer want to work during this weekend. An inspired few of these weekend workers, namely Chelsea Woods ’07 and Wesley Hartwell ’07, are directing the shows “The Thesmophoriazusae” and “Monty Python’s Cheese Shoppe Sketch” for this Friday’s Drama Lab. Both shows include elements of comedy and irony displayed through odd interactions. The “Cheese Shoppe,” directed by Hartwell, is a skit from Monty Python about a cheese connoisseur, played by Annabel Graham ’08, who requests various different kinds of cheese from a cheese shop owner, played by Cecelia Worthington ’08. The owner keeps formulating excuses about why she doesn’t have any of the cheeses the customer is asking for. Meanwhile, Abby Colella ‘08 plays an obnoxious kazoo player who irritates the cheese specialist and adds a new element of comedy to the already hilarious play. “The cheese shop owner tests the patience of the connoisseur by making excuses for his total lack of cheese. The kazoo player adds to the connoisseur’s frustration by playing loudly and obnoxiously in the background,” Hartwell explained when asked about the role in this production. Hartwell also added, “I have performed in plays, musicals, and operas, but I have never directed a show of my own. I enjoyed directing because I loved applying my knowledge of theatre from the other side of the stage.” In Woods’ “The Thesmophoriazusae,” the main character, Mnesilochus, played by Sean Beckett ’08, is on a mission to save his son in law, Euripides, played by Paul Hsiao ’08. Going to great lengths to do so, Beckett finds himself at an all women’s festival and is forced to dress as a woman to fit in. One woman soon finds out that he is a man and “all chaos ensues from there,” Woods describes. The large cast of this play features Claire Voegele ’07, Alice Nam ’07, Sean Becket ’08, Paul Hsiao ’08, Mike Sullivan ’08, Stephanie Schuylar ’08, Taryn Wiens ’09, Sophia Lee ’09, and Radka Dancikova ’09. During their rehearsal, they demonstrated a real sense of cast unity, which will make for an amazing show. While discussing the overall message of her show, Woods said, “This play shows us that men and women should be seen as equals and that you should always be ready to do anything for your family. Troubles come and go, but family always stays.” “This play is a little more risqué than most other plays you will see at PA,” added Woods, “It involves cross-dressing, strong language, and some adult situations, but the message is universal, it’s something everyone can walk away with.” When talking with Beckett ’08, he commented, “Chelsea and Betina [Evancha ’07, the show’s stage manager] are the best administration you could ever ask for. Our cast is a group of talented, amazing people.” “I think we have a good mix of Juniors, Lowers, and Uppers, great costumes, and killer props,” Hsiao added. The play includes dances, songs, and even a “surprise” at the end. For those hanging out on campus during the upcoming long weekend, both performances are approximately 30 minutes long and will be presented in the theatre classroom at 6:30 on Friday.