The first floor of Graham house transformed into a cozy bedroom for Claire, the main character’s mom, in last Saturday night’s Drama Lab.
Despite the fact that the play was performed away from main campus, the Graham House lobby was filled with people, about a dozen of the audience members had to stand in the door way to sneak a peak at the play.
The play detailed the life of “a rich girl who lives in a world where taste and texture have been recorded in to capsules in the same manner as sound and image. For the right price the experience of eating can be bought without the calories,” as Meagher summarized.
The protagonist Edith, played by Diana Avellanda’14, has an eating disorder where she will not even eat the capsules that have zero calories. Her sister Claire, played by Mallca Berro’14, weighs 14lbs more than her and is 3 inches shorter. At this, their mother Vitoria, played by Grace Hoyt’11, furiously scolds her and not let her eat real food.
This slightly abusive mom “serves as a kind of voice of sanity in their ridiculous, unaccountable family life,” said Meagher. Edith has a younger brother named Albert, played by Auggie Horner’14, who is ten and serves as the boy who doesn’t have to worry about how he looks. At her school, Edith becomes friends with a lower-class girl named Virginia, played by Kaite Poor ’13, on scholarship who tries to be like her and becomes bulimic.
This terrifies her and breaks her shell of insecurity because “eating disorders, in her world, are reserved for people who can’t afford pills, so to have one is the epitome of impropriety,” said Meagher. At the end Edith takes her stockings off to symbolize her freedom from self-consciousness and worries about her looks.
When asked if this play was based on Andover life, Meagher said, “I mean, sure. But nothing was based on one night, or one person, or one moment – if you tried to look closely there are probably a thousand moments borrowed from.” She casually added, “I will say this: her name is Edith Grace Elizabeth Rose Annabelle Edwards for a reason.”
Surprisingly, this 45-minute play, didn’t take Meagher that long to write. She explained, “I wrote the script in about four days during the second week of spring break upper year, last year.” She continued to work on the piece, putting much of her time to several read-throughs and editing.
“During upper spring I did a first read-through with Julie Helmers ‘10 and Christie Whalen ‘11, which helped to develop the dialogue. After that it went through one major rewrite, after we did two read-throughs in the fall term,” said Meagher.
The most difficult part about writing the script for Meagher was the title. She explained, “The title took by far the longest, I think between all of my friends we came up with twenty-three or so.”
The cast started to rehearse together at the end of winter term this year. Eliana Kwartler’12 thought it was a challenge for her since this was her “first time directing a play this long.” Kaite Poor’13 agreed and said, “Eliana was worried because on our first total run though it took us so long. So Diana and I practiced our lines separately to get the cues right, we all worked so hard.”
Due to hardworking efforts form the writer, director and the cast, the play turned out to be a major success. There was shouting, screaming, excitement and amazement at the end of the play and the applause went on for quite long.
“I thought it was very well acted, I don’t think anyone could believe that it was done by students. Also most of the actors were underclassmen which was very impressive,” said Jenny Zhou’11.
Jackie Kim’14 complimented the play saying, “It was written by a student which I could not believe! She did an amazing job writing the script.”
Many people believed that the Graham House was the perfect stage for this play. “The topic discussed was, I guess, the kind of issues that they would talk about in Graham House. So I thought it was very fitting,” said Edward Mole’13.