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12 Students, 12 Stories
Amelia Chen '18 Staff Writer
May 26, 2017

In the past, the spring play has often consisted of a collection of one-acts, and is frequently an opportunity for veteran actors and newcomers alike to explore new genres and techniques. This year, the theater program is providing students with a unique opportunity ­— a spring play, Twelve, that is entirely student-written, blocked, and performed.

“This play is a devised theater piece, which means the inspiration all comes from the ensemble,” explained the director of the play Ms. Adaire Robinson. “It’s really nice to be able to see people tell not just stories that they think are interesting but stories that are also theirs… A lot of plays are not actually about teenagers, and if they have teenage characters, they’re often very narrow characters that don’t express the wealth of views and knowledge and information that our students have.”

Credit: Deerfield Academy Theater

Eleven actors and one sound manager were actively involved in the genesis of this play. Titled Twelve, the play is about the students themselves. It is meant to express the ups and downs they’ve experienced in life, drawing inspiration from moments of joy, frustration, failure, and success.

To create the script, the ensemble brainstormed nearly a hundred different ideas and partook in timed writing exercises.

“This [time] pressure helped students like myself hesitate less about what to write and simply share ideas in a genuine and honest manner, which was encouraged by the very friendly environment,” observed Noah Lang ’18, a member of the cast.

As the script was finalized, rehearsals became more reminiscent of those during fall and winter, requiring the cast to memorize and breathe life into their roles.

These twelve students have been able to weave together all their stories into an hour-long production that they invite the Deerfield community to enjoy. “Twelve” will be performed in the Black Box Theater from Wednesday, May 24, to Saturday, May 27th, a total of four shows.