“A Midnight Clear” and “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”

“A Midnight Clear” The lights go up, and a hospital bed on stage sets the scene for “A Midnight Clear,” written by L.B. Hamilton and directed by Carolyn Whittingham ’11. The play explores a difficult relationship between two homosexuals, Luke and Paul, played by Ryan Marcelo ’10 and Adam Tohn ’10 respectively. Luke has been severely injured, although it is not clear why at first. Paul arrives in Luke’s hospital room with a bag of clothes. It is evident that the two have not seen each other in a while, and Paul has chosen to marry a woman and start a family, leaving Luke behind in the process. Casual banter leads to bitter comments, which reveal the nature of Luke’s injuries and the reasons that Paul chose a woman over their love. The two let out their thoughts and feelings with an angry outburst from Luke and a provocative statement from Paul. Amidst their anger, they remember a time when they were happy together in their own world. With a subtle but deeply moving ending, this DramaLab is sure to win the hearts of the audience. Whittingham chose this play hoping that a deeper meaning will get across. In the second week of winter term, unfortunate events caused one of Whittingham’s closest friends, who is a homosexual, to withdraw from Andover. In light of her loss, she chose to direct a play about homosexuals in his honor. She faced many challenges in directing this play, including censorship with the script and finding the right actors. She eventually chose Marcelo and Tohn, because she felt that she needed older actors for these parts to truly get the message of the play out to the audience. “I feel like the actors and I have made a profound bond,” she said. “It was really very unexpected, because I didn’t expect the actors to be so good, but they continue to surprise me,” said Whittingham. According to Whittingham, it was difficult for the two actors to be intimate beyond a certain point, and Whittingham had to tone down her original vision to allow the actors to act in their comfort zones. However, they will surely leave the audience moved by their spectacular performance. “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” Beethoven’s 5th symphony sets the scene for “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” written by Rei Konolige ’10 with a nightmarish opening. Konolige approached director Patrick Brady ’11, asking him to direct this play. Although he was not originally thinking about directing DramaLabs this term, he thought it might be interesting because the script was “not too hard, but not too easy either.” He added his own idea to the script, using Beethoven for the opening and ending. “I thought it would be fun to start the play with something creative,” Brady said. “The nightmarish beginning works well, I think.” The lights go up, and a dramatic ballet montage follows, featuring the characters Dorothy, played by Caroline von Klemperer ’12, and Rick, played by Phillipe Lior-Liechtenstein ’11. The two engage in comic seduction, fitting their gestures to the music. However, the real twist comes when Lola, Eliana Kwartler ’12, the villain of Dorothy’s nightmare, comes to steal Rick away. A scene follows in which Dorothy and Rick argue about Rick’s affair with Lola, the college student he met at Starbucks. The argument escalates to the point where it becomes clear to the audience that Dorothy is angry about Rick being able to chase after younger women, while her own “pool” grows smaller with each passing year. Rick points out Dorothy’s obvious attraction to her young “boy-toy” intern named Greg, and he plants a naughty idea into her head. Beethoven’s music ends the scene again, but this time it is the famous chorus of “Ode to Joy” in the 9th Symphony for a hilarious ending.