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Behind the Scenes: Winter Theater Performance
Ruthie Spencer ’22 Staff Writer
April 2, 2021

Lights, Camera, Action! The scene starts, and the audience can feel the magic of theater come alive. The Deerfield winter theater production will feature fourteen pieces, a mix of one-act plays, monologues, and scenes from plays and movies such as The Crucible and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992. Rehearsals were directed by faculty members as well as students from the Acting/Directing for Production course, and filming took place in the Black Box Theater, where a white box was constructed to transition from scene to scene quickly and seamlessly.

Theater Director Catriona Hynds said about the production, “It has been an interesting way and fun way to work, creating all these different worlds. Most of the scenes are comedic, but of course, there will be a couple of dark ones in there.”

Here is a sneak peek of a few of the scenes and what the actors have to say!

The Tarantino Variations is a one-act parody of director Quentin Tarantino’s famous gun scenes, and should be a hilarious progression to watch unfold. Actor Will Sussbauer ’23 emphasized the need to expect the unexpected, saying, “Many of the actors are having a blast exploring new types of roles, some of which may surprise the viewers, as [the roles] are quite far from the typical demeanor of us. I am very, very excited for the people of Deerfield to see a totally new side of me!”

Ella Mbanefo ’22

I’m Herbert is a one-act performance featuring Gavin Mariani ’23. Portraying an old married couple reflecting on their youth, this should be a heartwarming and nostalgic scene to watch. What helps Mariani get in character? He said he feels as though the added element of filming and technology for this performance especially “completes the character” in a cohesive way, and added that “it’s the elaborate  sets and well-thought out costumes that really bring a scene to life, and make you be that character in that moment.”

Ally Atwell ’22 and Thomas Lyons ’21 are the stars of Sure Thing, a scene about two young adults who make conversation in a café on a rainy night. Atwell describes the scene as comedic and “a nice way to keep the energy up during the winter term…” She said, “It’s really just a lot of fun to watch and observe how people judge one another off first impressions… the plots of the scenes are shocking and hilarious.” 

Lyons expressed that while, from beginning to end, the process presented unique challenges, those hurdles allowed him to create meaningful memories with Atwell. He said, “When in person, we couldn’t see each other’s facial expressions– when there was a positive test early in the term and we had to return to Zoom, I remember feeling so glad I could see what expressions [Atwell] was making. The first time we wore the plastic, see-through masks, we just stared at each other and started laughing.”

As one of many programs contributing to Deerfield’s “Artsapalooza,” the theater program has prepared an amazing group of pieces that should prove to be interesting and fun to watch! Be sure to check it out on the Artsapalooza website!