Advanced Performance Studies class performs "Under Milk Wood"

The Advanced Performance Studies class, made up of seven seniors, performed “Under Milk Wood,” a play for voices by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and directed by Performing Arts teacher Ted Walch on Saturday, June 1.

Sara Carreras ’13, Marissa Chupack ’13, Lucas Foster ’13, Nick Healy ’13, Thomas Oser ’13, Kassie Shannon ’13 and Kacey Wilson ’13 comprised the cast.

The play lasted two hours and admission was free. About twenty people were in the Drama Lab to watch.

The cast members took turns playing the omniscient narrator, who lets the audience listen in on the innermost thoughts and dreams of each of the inhabitants of a Welsh fishing village named Llareggub as they go about their everyday antics. Every morning in the play, the audience hears the latest gossip going around. Each of the cast members played multiple characters besides narrating, employing different accents and tones of voice to fit each one. As the play went on, the audience got to know each of the villagers more and more.

The class studied this play for the whole semester it was in session, Carreras said, and “it was very complex and very hard to understand, but the more we’d done it, the more revealing it became.”

The stage area was set up with seats and microphones for each of the performers. They used small props on occasion. There were sound effects played by speakers in the room, and Healy also played background music to match the rhythmic lines of the play using a keyboard sitting next to him.

The whole play was in verse.

Some of the characters had names that matched their professions or rhymed, like Willy Nilly the postman, Organ Morgan the organist and Dai Bread the baker.

Oser took advantage of all of the rhyming in the play, turning one of his segments into a rap song. As Wilson played a beat from a cell phone into her microphone, Oser’s character, Mr. Waldo, shouted out his lines.

When the performance was over, Walch said to the audience, “Thank Dylan Thomas and thank [Performing Arts teacher] Andrew Villaverde!”

The students performers had cupcakes afterwards to celebrate finishing the course with this production.

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