Bishop Ireton Theater Department Takes the Virtual Stage
Lights, Camera, Livestream!
This fall, the Bishop Ireton Theater Department presented “Obstacles: An Evening of Short Plays.” Obstacles consisted of five short plays that share a common theme of characters attempting to overcome barriers. All plays were directed by seasoned BI theater students and feature the costume, lighting, set and sound design of our talented Cardinals. This adaptation to their normal fall production, allowed the theater department to still hold a production while ensuring safety for cast, crew and viewers. Actors and actresses wore clear masks on stage. Some students even acted through their computer screens, with a TV monitor on stage to connect them through video chat.
The performances were originally set for a live audience, but just a week prior to opening night, Governor Northam announced a 25 person limit to in-person gatherings. Mrs. Katie Rice, the new Director of Theater Arts, was quick to create a livestream option for audiences to enjoy the performances. Senior Maya Andersen said, "BITA jumped on the train to getting a camera crew and adjusting tech elements to accommodate a streamed show. I was quite pleased to see every show pull through successfully on the last day." Head of School, Mrs. Kathleen McNutt watched both virtual performances online. She said, “I’m so proud of the flexibility of our drama program and the outstanding performances that they gave throughout the weekend. Obstacles was the perfect theme for a COVID year.”
For the full recording of Obstacles: An Evening of Short Plays, click here.
One Act Introductions
The evening begins with Ghost Lite, playwright Justin Warner’s comedic rewrite of Hamlet. This award-winning play is a hilarious send-up of the Shakespearean tragedy in all of its woeful splendor. You will enjoy watching Ghost and Hamlet as they struggle to convince one another what must be done about “Uncle Claudius.” Ghost Lite is directed with witty aplomb by senior Maya Anderson.
Walls is a drama by Lindsay Price that challenges traditional gender roles within families. Expertly directed by junior Melanie Becker and Assistant Director Fiona Fedorochko, this play focuses on the “walls” that each generation constructs, oftentimes unintentionally. When perspectives fail to be recognized, family members are left struggling to wonder why their voices cannot be heard.
Let Me In, written by award-winning Iranian-American playwright Sholeh Wolpé, takes us to the movies, where we meet 16 year-old Jazmine, an immigrant from Yemen, attempting to have a nice evening at the movies with her date. Jazmine must first get past the Inspector and Ticket Guard, who have their own opinions about who should be allowed into the movie theater. BI senior and Folger Shakespeare Theatre Fellow Sophie de Waal directs this fascinating play that combines Wolpé’s wry humor and scathing insight into racial prejudice.
In CAPS OFF TO US, written by Shelby Swartz and directed by junior Emma Rice, two California teenagers find themselves trapped inside by a raging thunderstorm. Here, they are forced to confront their future in a way that neither of them had initially expected. CAPS OFF TO US explores what divides even the best of friends, especially when they must make a life-altering decision. (Note: there will be brief strobe lighting and loud sound effects.)
The evening ends with Jane B. Jones’ It Came From the Sea, directed by senior and JJ Stinson Award Winner Dagny Scannell. It Came From the Sea comedically explores the obstacles (sometimes even monstrous ones!) we set for ourselves. Expect to be equally charmed and amused by this fun, quirky play where reality and fantasy battle it out. Will you be able to tell what is real and what is imagined?