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Flint Hill School Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon

By • May 3rd, 2012 • Category: Cappies

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon is not your average play. You’ve got a woman emotionally and physically scarred along with a tender-hearted guy who just wants to be treated normally. Throw in a sarcastic man in a wheelchair and you’ve got a crew who brings new meaning to the term “the three musketeers.”

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon was adapted by D.D. Brooke from Marjorie Kellogg’s novel for the 1970 play. The comedy-drama is most famous for the film version, starring the legendary Liza Minnelli. Junie Moon has a normal life until her abusive, but seemingly polite boyfriend pours acid on her face, causing permanent scars and a broken heart. In the hospital, Junie spends time with two fellow misfits, a homosexual confined to a wheelchair after a hunting accident and a gentle man suffering from a disease misdiagnosed as mental retardation. Yearning for a normal life, the social outcasts buy a house together. The play embodies the stereotypical cliche of loving oneself for who you are in an original way through quirky characters. Kellogg envelops the audience into a world with adults looking from the outside in, ultimately evoking a sense of individuality.

Flint Hill School’s production was centered on the amalgam of distinct personalities. The characters deal with their pain in various, eccentric ways that allow them to connect to one another. Compounded into a dysfunctional family – Arthur being the sarcastic member, Junie the blatantly rude one, and Warren the warm-hearted teddy bear – the three actors played off each other well. Despite a simple, one-dimensional script, each cast member exploited their personality, with spunky nurses and an energetic old lady spicing up the mix.

Keeley McLaughlin, who portrayed Junie Moon, delivered her sarcastic lines with angst, but contrasted them easily when the play became emotional. McLaughlin read letters to her disconnected mother, signing off “your obedient daughter” with the same aching tone each time, building up the tension in her character. Kyle deCamp’s Arthur was a refreshing source of compassion and compatibility. deCamp’s limp due to a cripled leg was consistent throughout the show, and he never broke character.

John Osborn mobilized around the stage as Warren effortlessly, as if a lifetime of confinement to a wheelchair was behind him. Osborn’s comedic zingers earned bursts of laughter every time. Courtney Ebersohl conveyed Minnie, an ill but lively old lady, with believable old-age mannerisms. Ebersohl’s accent was faint, but consistent as she gave advice to Junie Moon. While the energy level occasionally fell low at times and some actor’s blocking was unmotivated at times, the play was well-paced and well-received.

The noteworthy stage crew swiftly changed the set, keeping up a comfortable pace for the play. Though the actors did not have microphones, occasional voiceovers revealed the shadowed details about the character’s past through snippets of childhood or recent dialogue. The voices were clear-cut and the use of the same female voice added to the ambiguity of the past.

Overall, Flint Hill School’s production of Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon was notable with the tackling of sensitive areas of mental illness and results of physical abuse. The play had a pristine balance of comedy and drama, ultimately resulting in a well-rounded show. The production gave tribute to the so-called “outcasts” of society, eliciting an awareness of individualism.

by Rachel Mayman of Langley High School

Photo Gallery

John Osborn Keeley McLaughlin
John Osborn
Keeley McLaughlin
Kyle deCamp Keeley McLaughlin and Courtney Ebersohl
Kyle deCamp
Keeley McLaughlin and Courtney Ebersohl

Photos by Tony Blanton

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