Seattle Repertory Theatre & Roosevelt High School
Four Shows. One night. This is what the enthusiastic audience of students, parents and faculty experienced. However, for a group of students at Roosevelt High School, this show meant a great deal more. Beginning in October, four students applied and were chosen to join the Rep in a playwright program. This collaborative project between the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Roosevelt (now in about its 7th year) gives talented students the opportunity to write plays, see them through the rehearsal process and then watch their fellow students actualize their works onstage.
The plays performed, each very unique and artistically different, successfully used minimal set, effective lighting, and clever scriptwriting to convey their story. For one play, the humor of Hades as a compassionate soul and his eventual ejection from hell was effectively presented using a table, chairs, bench and specific props. Lighting took emotional and narrative form in a dramatic portrayal of a family’s dealings with the father’s death. In a play about a women’s fight with her conscious, a set consisted of partitioning the stage into two distant rooms, which instituted an interesting character dynamic and creative space use as she and she traveled between the office and her therapist. Unique and thought provoking scripting techniques were used in the fourth play where deep life issues were influenced by media in the form of TV and literature. In so many ways these dynamic playwrights (Elizabeth Snyder, Lilli Cantwell, Nicky Davis, Hannah Hoffmeyer), the 17 talented actors, and the many others involved in directing, stage-managing, and completing the technical aspects of the show, created a hilarious and moving production.
After the months they spent on Please Hold, and the long, final day at the Rep, beginning at noon, a post show interview expressed the pride and accomplishment that the writers felt having experienced their work produced, onstage, by such a respected theatre. This program is a testament to Roosevelt’s dedication to theatre and will hopefully continue for years to come. Sadly, the 9th was the only chance to see this show; however, the performers from Roosevelt look forward to their spring musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, which runs May 24th – June 3. Be sure to check it out.
Review By Rick Skyler