PHOTOS: Middle School Students Shine in Dramatic Productions of ‘The Giver’
The talented cast and crew produced four unforgettable shows in McGregor Theater.
The cast of 31 Middle School students brought the drama The Giver to life in four performances last weekend. The play is set in a world where there is no pain, but no joy either. In the 'utopia' of The Giver, people are assigned their roles in society according to their talents, and men and women are assigned to each according to how well they balance. They have no real choices of their own and no idea of the world that came before them... until the main character, Jonas, turns 12 and is assigned the special role of Receiver of Memories. He goes to work with the Giver, who keeps the memories of the world as it used to exist - memories of violence, fear, joy and love.
Director Katie DeShan is proud of how the cast took this challenging work and made it their own. Even though the piece is dark, they worked together to experience the thrill of performing live theater. Ms. DeShan appreciated the incredible support from Assistant Director Corinne Samskey who helped with blocking and supporting the cast throughout the 19 total rehearsals. Even the costumes designed by Sarah Timm helped convey the greyness of the world, as the characters wore black and grey to represent that in this society no one could stand out by wearing bright colors.
The story explored themes of precision of language that allows for only surface-level relationships that would not cause anyone loss or pain as well as how this society “released” those who did not adhere to society’s strict rules or standards.
In this production, the scenes moved seamlessly from place to place, including the home of The Giver, Jonas’s family home, and the recreation center, even though there were no set changes. Much of the theater magic came from lighting designed by Upper School junior Jack Justus and executed by stage manager and grade 7 student Tyler Sant.
As stage manager, Tyler matched cues throughout the show for slides being projected onto the set, lighting, and sound effects sometimes simultaneously. In addition to helping the audience experience different physical places, the technical effects also helped transport audience members into places in their minds, emotions, and memories.
An Independent Preschool Through Grade 12 College-Preparatory Day School in Orange County California
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