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“Hairy Ape” challenges cast, crew

By Jordan Brown, Asst Section Editor

The drama department, led by Mr. Henderson, put on their production of “The Hairy Ape” from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26. The play, written by Nobel Prize winning author Eugene O’Neill and first produced in 1922, revolves around the themes of social recession and racial issues, concepts that are more complex than majority of its previous productions.

“The story itself revolved around my character, Yank, very closely, which meant I had to work extensively on character development and line memorization,” senior Amorie Barton said.

The entire department worked together for months to put on this production, Henderson dividing the students in the class into separate committees assigned to different tasks.

“We like to try and run the drama class like an actual play company in which different committees of students are in charge of different areas of the production,” Barton said.

Like all drama related productions, planning and rehearsals have been extensive..

“We started preparing for this play in the beginning of the school year, and as opening night approached we started to have rehearsals practically every day after school as well as on Fridays,” Barton said.

Last year’s production, “Harvey”, was a bit less work in areas like line memorization and complexity compared to “Hairy Ape” but fulfilling nonetheless.

“‘Harvey’ was a lighthearted comedy of errors while ‘The Hairy Ape’ is more of a serious expressionist piece with a deep philosophical meaning,” Barton said. “Both are great shows and I think it shows off the versatility of our drama department.”

Since the play had to be adapted for a high school stage and theater company, there were clashes on things like how the play was to be interpreted and who was doing what.

“There have been a few clashes on the fact that people from other committees would try to do jobs on another committee instead of their own.” junior Madison Tappa said.

Despite the complexity, the payoff was worth it for the department at the end of the three-day run.

“Knowing that we were all able to overcome any difficulties to put on a show that we can be proud of is incredibly rewarding.” Barton said.

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