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The Dirt on Dirt

Murmurs of disgruntlement about the loss of faculty break and anticipation of the typical “drinking-and-smoking-are-bad” presentation filled the air as John Morello stepped onstage to perform his one-man show, Dirt.

Despite the tension of varying expectations, laughter soon filled the auditorium as Mr. Morello began a casual conversation regarding school mascots, and a rather bold impression of Deerfield students cheering on their beloved door.

However, not all were amused. “At first I thought the jokes were a bit off-putting and arbitrary,” commented Christopher Lin ’13.

Garam Noh ’15 added, “I thought that, in the end, it was more geared toward a day school experience. It just felt somewhat removed from the boarding school experience, regardless of what it was trying to convey.”

Other students found Mr. Morello’s laid-back performance more enjoyably relatable.

Kay Calloway ’14 said, “I really liked it. The characters were really interesting, and it was so funny. I wasn’t really quite sure what to think of a one-man show. I was actually kind of expecting a train wreck. But I really felt the performance. It was also all up for interpretation, and it was so personal.”

This personal nature also resonated with Annie Blau ’13, who commented, “Regardless of whether or not the message is explicit, whether we like it or not, inappropriate activity will continue. But his performance captured the student body’s attention. I have alcoholism in my family, and it was refreshing to get a lighthearted approach on heavy issues.”

Dorie Magowan ’15 also enjoyed the hands-off approach. “I loved that he wasn’t lecturing. He just told us stories and let us take away what we wanted. Overall, it was really effective,” Magowan said.

Others, not entirely moved by the educational aspect of the piece, commented that the show was, if nothing else, entertaining.

“I thought the one man show was really impressive,” commented Camil Blanchet ’14. “It was incredible the way he morphed from character to character.”

Many students agreed that Mr. Morello seemed to lace a comedic thread through his piece, shedding light on challenges that need to be discussed.

“These issues need to be brought up,” said Sarah Sutphin ’13, “and I think it’s important to keep in mind that every story of every character Mr. Morello played was somehow related. We affect each other so much on a regular basis, and everyone has problem. Silence is a total hindrance in allowing ourselves to step forward as a community.”