Review: Student Directed


From the play “Tartuffe.” RAVEN BOGUES / SAGAMORE STAFF

Student Directed, which was performed on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 featured a series of twenty-minute plays directed and performed by students.  

Friday, May 20

“High School Musical”:

Adapted and directed by sophomores Felicia Rosen and Emily Gerson and written by Peter Barsocchini

This adaption of a childhood classic embodied all the frivolity and flair of the original. Senior Arthur Chen and junior Katie Suh played the dynamic duo of Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, and the cast in general was able to capture the magic of the ionic scores of the musical, including “Start of Something New” and “Breaking Free.”



Directed by juniors Rachel Eber and Hannah Farman and written by Rachel Eber

This play embodied the classic story of a kid coming to a new town and struggling to fit in. Junior Alma Bitran played Clementine, an avid bowler who falls in love with Kip, played by junior Evan Paris. This play was charming and funny as it examined themes of self-identity and growth.


“Bridges Over River Oak”:

Directed by junior Sam Pollak and senior Lily Harris and written by Sam Pollak

This play centered around the story of four graduating seniors, who reflect on the death of their friend, Bobby Waters, played by junior Alexander Blanton. The cast put on a spectacular showing while also exploring serious issues, such as sexuality and guilt.


“Room 225”:

Directed by seniors Gabe Doyle and Rosa Stern Pait and written by Rosa Stern Pait

This play centered around a tight-knit community of students, who live in room 225 of their high school. The play follows the everyday antics of the group, which included bursts of humor and endearing moments of community and friendship. The class meshed well in creating an ultimately intriguing and enjoyable performance.


“A Theatrical Analysis of Carnivorous Pineapples and Their Relationship to Happiness”:

Directed by junior Alice Jennings and written by the ensemble

“Happiness” was a meditation on the dualities of anxiety and joy that switched between a group of friends hanging out together on Halloween and a single friend, played by junior Naomi Goodheart, crushed by schoolwork and panicking alone at night a few months later. The play was inspired by a story Goodheart told in her audition and developed as an ensemble piece by the cast.


“Freaks and Geeks”:

Adapted and directed by seniors Talia Roland-Kalb and Lily Schwartz and created by Paul Feig

Adapted from the pilot episode of the TV show of the same name, set in a high school in the 1980’s, “Freaks and Geeks” the play was as relatable as it was amusing. True to the original TV show, Sam (sophomore Jacob Zachary-Flanders) and his friends are socially awkward “geeks,” while his sister Lindsay (senior Ola Soltan) switched from being a high-achieving academic star to hanging out with the rebellious “freaks.”

Saturday, May 21

Monologue from “Hamlet”:

Written by William Shakespeare and performed by sophomore Nathaniel Liberman

Liberman performed one of the most famous monologues from the play “Hamlet,” in which the young prince expresses his anger and frustration about his mother’s wedding to his father’s brother. Liberman took on the role with conviction, power and maturity.


“The Backwoods”:

Directed by sophomores Rachel Vin and Eve Crawford and written by Rachel Vin

A new mother (junior Alice Foster) visits her own father (sophomore Phineas Hilliard), who lives alone in a cabin in the woods that he never leaves. The father, haunted by memories of war and perpetually terrified, relies on her to bring him food and news of her young son. The cast magnified the intensity of their relationship as characters struggle to reach out to the others.


“The Glass Menagerie”:

Directed by sophomore Sarah Groustra and written by Tennessee Williams

This classic play about a young man (senior Alexander Frieden) who feels trapped by his family, his crippled and insecure sister (freshman Immy Morehouse) and their pragmatic and desperate mother (senior Maeve Forti) was rendered with care and tenderness by the four-person cast. Forti created a truly moving portrayal of a woman struggling to make something of her adult children’s lives.


“Let’s Play A Game”:

Written and directed by juniors Franny DiRice, Gideon Brown and Annie Mellios

Familiar video game characters from Link and Zelda to Waluigi raced through the aisles and bounced and leapt onstage in this fantasy-reality piece about a gamer (junior Haley Barnes) who becomes sucked into a video game quest. The references to popular games kept the audience laughing, and the twist ending packed a surprising punch.



Directed by senior Maya Teich and written by Michael Weller

Paul (junior Max Murphy) and Carol (junior Sarah Dreyfus) are twenty-somethings who, after six years of marriage, are getting a divorce. Their friends help, hinder and gossip as they navigate the end of their relationship. Murphy and Dreyfus acted as the lost young adults, with projected videos depicting their loving relationship as it once was.

From the play "The Salem Bitch Trials." RAVEN BOGUES / SAGAMORE STAFF
From the play “The Salem Bitch Trials.” RAVEN BOGUES / SAGAMORE STAFF
From the play "The Salem Bitch Trials." RAVEN BOGUES / SAGAMORE STAFF
From the play “The Salem Bitch Trials.” RAVEN BOGUES / SAGAMORE STAFF


“The Salem Bitch Trials”:

Written and performed by the Brookline Educational Theater Company

A personal take on the well known Salem witch trials, this play represented a time when women who did not conform to Puritan standards were labeled witches. The play began with three hooded witnesses in the style of the 17th century courts testifying to a teenage girl’s nonconformist behavior, and then labeling her a witch. The show closes with the same three hooded witnesses condemning the same girl, now a modern high school student, over the Internet, for her nonconformist behavior.


Directed by sophomore Nathaniel Liberman and written by Jean-Baptiste Mollière

Tartuffe (junior Alexander Blanton) is a hypocritical Christian religious mystic. The family in the play is very religious, and the father (senior Nathan Kyn) wants his daughter (sophomore Cecilia Cipullo) to marry this religious figure against the daughter’s wishes. To make things worse, the father makes Tartuffe the heir to his estate. This comedic romp was set in the 1960’s rather than the 17th century in this production.


“The Clementine Issue”:

Written and directed by juniors Carolyn Fahrner and Oceanne Fry

This play was about the life of three friends who had drifted apart during high school. Throughout the play, one of the main characters, named Fletcher (senior Nathan Wies), has anxiety about how the events in his life would play out. A blue light scene was performed to show a hypothetical scenario for what could happen to Fletcher, before the real scene occurred. The main conflicts in the scenario is Fletcher’s love interest, played by junior Sarah Simon, his best friend who believes he is ignoring her, and a conflict between two lovers, Maddie and Andy (played by senior Emilia Morgan and junior Miki Lazowski). The insecurities portrayed in the play were accurate representations of the high school experience for many teenagers.


“Needs Improvment”:

The last group that performed was Needs Improvment, which took a suggestion of a name and an object from the crowd: The name Luther Lieberman and a keyhole. From there, they improvised a musical about a boy named Luther, played by senior Simone St. Pierre, who loved to rollerblade against his community’s wishes. When Luther found a group of people who also loved to rollerblade, he felt accepted. The performance was humorous and the group dynamic and cohesion was impressive.