Student Directed Festival makes for refreshing and entertaining Saturday



Senior Camryn Lezama agonizes about his fate as Icarus in “Icarus,” directed by sophomores Ivy Fawcett and Sigal Solomon. Although the performances were mostly comical, some had more serious themes as well.

Waking up to watch these plays was like a fresh cup of lemonade on a hot summer day. It was pleasing to absorb in the bright and tangy flavors of the show, and it was a refreshing change of pace from my usual Saturday mornings.

From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 21, a diverse showcase of eight plays and eight casts of BHS Drama Society students gathered for the Student Directed Festival. In a culmination of creativity, the plays ranged from a Disney parody to a biased criminal trial, and each felt refreshing enough to outshine the Saturday’s 90-degree sun.

“Hineas and Herb” was not only the first performance in the festival, but it was also the play that made me laugh the most. “Hineas and Herb” was a whimsical parody of the popular television show “Phineas and Ferb.” The show was directed by juniors Agnes Shales, Maya Shavit and Katya Sacharow.

Dancing around to a delightful parody of “Fergalicious,” Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (senior Sophie Spanjaard) and other actors brought a delightful energy to “Hineas and Herb,” directed by juniors Agnes Shales, Maya Shavit and Katya Sacharow. (ALLEN YU/SAGAMORE STAFF)

The story starts with Hineas (freshman Allen Burlak) and Herb (sophomore Ivy Fawcett) deciding to put on a play. Meanwhile, Perry the Platypus (senior Hannah Schlosberg) tried to stop Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (senior Sophie Spanjaard) from enacting his devious plan to make all the other shows boring so his own production could steal the spotlight, while Hineas’ sister Candance (junior Valentia Burlak) tried and failed to “bust” her brothers by showing her mom that they were building a theater in their backyard.

At one point in the show, to my surprise and delight, an undercover Perry the Platypus zoomed around the audience while doing flips to boast his athletic prowess and spy capabilities.

After Perry’s character introduction, he encountered Dr. Doofenshmirtz who then tried to impress him by an excellent choreography with the whole cast to a malicious spin on the lyrics of Fergie’s song “Fergalicious,” which had me mesmerized and jamming to its catchy beat.

The more mature “Corporal Punishment,” directed by seniors Lilia Burtonpatel and Kate Fabbri, had an interesting plot, and I revelled in its mature flavors. Though it had a more serious plot than “Hineas and Herb,” I liked how it retained the same level of humor from “Hineas and Herb.”

One fateful day, Captain Blackadder (sophomore Griffin Schroeder) decided to stop listening to orders and shot a messenger pigeon. Unfortunately, Blackadder’s superior, General Melchett (sophomore Louis Kaufman), was fond of the pigeon and found out who shot him. Consequently, Blackadder was sent to trial for the death of the pigeon.

I could not help but chuckle as Blackadder’s squad attempted to hide from General Melchett the fact they killed the pigeon and ate it, while they sarcastically denied how “juicy and plump” it was.

My favorite comedic scene in “Corporal Punishment” was watching how Baldrick (sophomore Bella Wong) came to testify in Blackadder’s name. Blackadder told Baldrick to “deny everything” so that he did not reveal that Blackadder killed the pigeon. However, the simple-minded Baldrick took this literally, denying his identity and any questions that would prove helpful in Blackadder’s trial. As a result, Baldrick’s testimony was invalidated.

All the splendor of the plays culminated in the mythical performance of “Icarus” directed by sophomores Sigal Solomon and Ivy Fawcett. It was then when I felt as if magic appeared in front of my eyes.

When Icarus (senior Camryn Lezama) meets a sudden death, he faces the judges of the Underworld who will decide how he will spend eternity. Hermes (sophomore Addy Anyaosah) brought witnesses to provide background information on the case.

As the curtains flapped opened, I was dazzled by the enchanting set, props and costumes. As Icarus and Daedalus (freshman Ben Panciera) twirled in the air with their newly crafted wings, I felt as if I was floating along with them.

During the trial, I found humor in the play’s sarcasm from the three judges, as well as in the sibling dynamic between Poseidon (sophomore Andie Cohen) and Hades (sophomore Penny Waldron) as they quabbled about whose job is harder.

In the dramatic end, I felt goosebumps as I watched Icarus vent about not knowing who he was and his identity. As his speech ended, Icarus hugged his father before being cast into the pits of Tartarus. The emotional silence in this scene was breathtaking.

Overall, the Student Directed Festival brightened my Saturday with humor and creative storytelling. It’s hard to keep an audience engaged for six hours straight, but there was never a moment when I felt bored. It was certainly a slog to wake up early on a Saturday morning, but the Student Directed Festival was an unforgettable experience that was well worth it.