Manassas Park High School Meet Me in The StarsBy Cappies • Feb 21st, 2013 • Category: Cappies
To many, the stars are simply large, luminous remote points in the sky, exposed only by darkness; they indicate to us that there is a universe around us that keeps moving. To the characters in Manassas Park High School’s premiere of the student written and directed play, Meet Me in The Stars, “when you look up into the stars, you realize you’re not alone.” Junior, Lane Peyton, was able to effectively bring to light the real life horrors of nine teenage students.
Rion, who recently moved to a new town, made it a primary goal of his to make a difference in people’s lives, by sharing his love for the stars and the metaphorical aspect of them to those he met. He underestimated the amount of troubled people he would find in this new town, as each person he met seemed to have their own personal struggle. Whether it was the recent loss of a family member, having a terminal disease, self-confidence issues, or being involved in a serious crime — ten high schoolers would meet on the hill and proclaim their hopes and desperations to the stars.
The layout of the show consisted of short scenes interjected by personal monologues to the audience exposing the high schoolers’ innermost secrets. The curtain would open and close to expose either a schoolyard scene or a bedroom backed by a simple black curtain. With few lighthearted moments throughout the show, the overarching moral was ingrained in the minds of everyone present, hoping that everything in their lives will be okay.
Of the ten friends several were able to shine as bright as the stars they placed their hopes in. Chris Carpenter (Mark) suffered from an aching heart. Where he did not have as ‘serious’ an issue as his friends, he provided stability and romance to the complex set of characters the show presented. His composure on stage provided for an extremely genuine experience as he continuously tried to profess his love to his lifelong friend. Niecy Lindsay (Fern) showed the widest range of emotion out of anyone on the stage. She was able to be tough, as she associated with her gang members, and completely break down in her private monologues. Her delivery filled the auditorium with genuine pain and passion. She made the audience believe she actually felt the agony of cold-blooded murderer. Someone else who believably displayed the pain of killing a man was Kim Kasik (Erica). Throughout the entire show she carried around a stuffed dog from a man who gave his life to save hers. Though reserved in character, she displayed unadulterated concern for every one of her friends with believable and accurate emotion. Sporadic comedic relief for the otherwise depressing show came from Karla Vargas (Ms. Compton). Her over-the-top vocal inflections provided humor to the outrageous advice she gave to the high schoolers as their school counselor. Her few moments on stage provided a needed shift in emotion.
Technical elements of the show remained simple. The stage crew efficiently transitioned between set pieces as a short instrumental played to mask the rustling. Spotlights were usually on cue, as they indicated the beginning and end of a monologue or scene.
Though written by a high school junior, the maturity of the actors and the writing was far beyond what someone would expect from a student. This truly original production touched everyone in the audience and assured them that with hope and the support of people who love you, no problem is unconquerable.
by Kelsey Golias of Fairfax High School
Photos by James Hanggi
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/9169.