Fall Plays And Advice Amidst A Global Pandemic

Eli Krob

“Proof” is one of two plays being performed this weekend, alongside “Sylvia”, at MVHS.

“Proof” is a very interesting play, mainly because of the concepts explored in it. In “Proof,” Catherine, the main character, played by senior Alice Conroy, is doing her best to cope with the death of her father, Robert, played by senior Jasper Rood, who was a famous mathematician, well known for his “revolutionary ideas in the mathematics world.” As Catherine attempts to cope, she falls into a depression. Her father’s spirit makes the observation of Catherine “Even your depression is mathematical!”

The play “Sylvia” is about Gwen, played by senior Emrys Yamanishi, who brings a dog home named Sylvia, played by Sophomore Lydia Benesh. In conjunction with the dog’s arrival, Kate, played by Lillie Hawker, is a high school English teacher who is trying to get Shakespeare into the curriculum. Kate does not want to even entertain the idea of a dog at this point in their lives, and tries on multiple occasions to get rid of Sylvia.

According to Tom Stephens, the MVHS Theater director, the reason for two fall plays is, “because of numbers. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to have a play go forward at all, but if we did, it would be a small cast where we can spread out more readily on stage.”

Some things that were changed because of Covid-19 are seen even during performances. According to Stephens, “The biggest thing was just getting used to having masks on. Acting with just your eyes or just your body…… The blocking, we had the actors turn out more to the audience during conversations. Obviously, we got rid of the kissing scene, we got rid of much of Sylvia’s physicality. She still taps on the actor’s knees from time to time, but there’s not that face to face contact you would see in normal times.”

Some advice Stephens has for students looking to advance themselves or get started in the MVHS theater programs is get involved, and just say yes. “I hear time and time again from theater professionals, not to underestimate a broad skill set, but it’s really about just saying yes to learning new things and meet new people. It shows you’re responsible, it shows you’re a hard worker.”

However, this year, is a year like no other. Amidst the global pandemic, the high school theater department is doing their best to stay safe, socially distant, and responsible. Come see “Sylvia” on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., and “Proof” on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.! Admission is $5 at the door. You can also stream it online at GoMVStangs.org.