The Fall Play ‘Tea’

Benjamin Masia, Online Staff Writer

Stan Cahill, the head of the PDS theater department, announced to a group of eager and excited high school students that for the 2021 fall season, they would perform the radical new show titled Brainstorm. All about the way that teenagers’ minds work, Stan thought the play would be a fitting subject for our students and faculty. Unfortunately, due to complications from Governor Murphy’s mandate detailing that stage actors have to wear masks indoors, Stan and the students made the executive decision to change the play. 

With much debate and disagreement, Stan and the cast finally decided to perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play is a fan favorite, and can also be performed outdoors, which are the main reasons why it was picked. Stan, along with senior assistant director Tyanna Miller, has been working tirelessly to find an outdoor setting that suits the needs of the play.

Many students have expressed their opinions about the show’s subject change. Senior Andre Williams, a prominent member of the theater community at PDS, stated: “I would definitely prefer being able to perform without a mask on than with one. And although Shakespeare may not be the easiest to memorize, I think it’ll be a good time!” He emphasized the idea that even though performing Shakespeare was not the cast’s first choice, they are certainly excited to work with it and are grateful to have the opportunity to perform without masks, as it will allow them to communicate to the audience using their facial expressions and will be less tiring. 

Sophomore Amelia Sentveld expressed a similar opinion. Sentveldstated: “I think it’ll be a very fun performance to see. Also, having an outdoor performance makes me think of Renaissance fairs.” Amelia was also able to put a positive spin on the play change, which is helpful to some of the actors who might be upset or frustrated during the adjustment period. 

Clearly, Stan never thought that he would have to change the show, but because of the pandemic and all the changes that came with it, this is not a major surprise to the PDS community. 

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