RAIYA KHAN / SAGAMORE STAFF
What is a community? BETCo’s performance of “It Takes a Village” doesn’t shy away from this difficult question. From a park in France to the familiar world of Oz, the show featured a variety of compelling settings. In each of these settings, the creative cast and crew explored ideas and concepts related to a community and what an individual’s role in one is, ultimately creating an intriguing and relevant show.
This unique and fully online performance was written and directed by BETCo (Brookline Educational Theatre Company) students. The performance focused on both positive and negative situations regarding community, making each of its scenes unpredictable and interesting.
The show started off in munchkin land, where the audience meets two munchkins, Kiki (senior Ren Klein) and Mopsi (junior Tilden Lin) who introduce Dorthy (senior Din Klein) to their home. The dialogue between the three of them ultimately reveals the message of their scene: diversity only makes them stronger as a community. The actors seamlessly integrated their message into their acting throughout this skit. An actor that stood out was Din Klein, as her performance as Dorthy was very endearing and made the audience even more interested in the scene.
Now, not all of the scenes showed communities coming together. For example, “Prime Time Mime Time,” a sketch with excellent costumes, showed the effects of one out of a group of mimes going rogue. “Dumpster Divers” explored a group of dumpster diving cats and dogs getting picked off one by one, leaving barely any remaining.
“Coulrophobics Anonymous” followed a similar trend. This story takes place during a group therapy session for people with a fear of clowns. The coulrophobics work together as a team to overcome their fear. However, Sandy (senior Tamar Paserman) decides to leave the group. Lyle (senior Ren Klein) and Carl (junior Camryn Lezama) both do an excellent job of pleading with Sandy to stay and help them. However, Sandy ultimately chooses to go, leaving Lyle and Carl to fend for themselves.
A standout performance was “Prom Queen,” which explored a very relevant issue in a relatable, simple way. “Prom Queen” featured a group of club leaders who were voting on who should be Prom queen. Throughout the performance, it becomes increasingly clear that the voting isn’t fair, as not everyone’s vote is worth the same amount. This was a thought-provoking parallel to the electoral college, the system that gives states a set number of votes in the presidential election based on how many Congressional representatives they have.
Another highlight in the show was the hilarious accents featured in “The T,” and of course the final scene of the show, “The Best Doctor in The World.” The cast brought the scene to life through its costumes and set, as well as its careful emphasis on what a community is.
Betco’s performance was entirely online, and that only enhanced it. It nailed everything, from its stellar Zoom backgrounds to great transition music. This only strengthened its own message, as in order to have such a great show, the cast and crew must have had to come together and work hard as a community.