Fall Play Dazzles Audiences


Michael Friedman

The “Blue Cast” of this year’s fall play performs a thrilling scene. Pictured are Patrick Grimes ‘18, Charlie Metcalf ‘20, Alex Meagher ‘19, Emma Latanision ‘21, Franklin Lee Pugh III ‘18, and Tatiana Madsen ‘20. This Friday night performance was one of the best seen at HB, and promises more great shows to come.

Michael Friedman, News Editor

Going into December, the theater department revved up for its annual fall play. On Thursday night, Nov. 30, the doors opened to a world of mystery and intrigue, where the antics of Sherlock Holmes drove a plot filled to the brim with humor and top-notch acting.

The auditorium bustled with enthusiasm as each night’s performance was gearing up. One of the most interesting phenomenon of this year’s fall play was its structure: two casts performing the same script. In a groundbreaking decision, the theater department cast two separate sets of actors to perform alternating shows with the same story and different directors. The result: a smashing success.

Social studies teacher and co-theater chair Gregory Parker directed the shows on Thursday night and Saturday night, and starred Joey Schunemann ‘18 as the lead role. This cast, named the Blue Cast, was described by fellow director Matthew Barbosa as “some of the best theater I’ve seen since our arrival in 2015”. “This was the most prepared we’ve been going into tech week. In spite of the technical issues, our actors’ talent shone through and was a wonderful thing to see,” said Parker.

Choir teacher and co-theater chair Matthew Barbosa directed the shows Friday night and the Saturday matinee. This show featured Patrick Grimes ‘18 as the lead, and received as warm a reception as its counterpart. “Although I sincerely missed the regularity of the Parbosa [Parker-Barbosa] tag team, I loved having two casts for this production,” said Barbosa. “We literally doubled the opportunity for our auditionees to get stage experience (not to mention our younger tech and crew friends), and were able to try new combinations of veterans and younger thespians.”

Cast member of the Barbosa troupe and veteran thespian Franklin Lee Pugh III ‘18 said of the show, “I think that the reason for our success was the sort of competition between both casts. We all wanted each other to do better, and by watching each other’s shows, we improved and critiqued each other’s performance. It was a unique way to exponentially create a final achievement of that magnitude.”

Both shows offered many laughs from the audience, stemming from stellar comedic delivery, drawing laughter from even out of the seemingly ordinary. Either way, the dynamic between the actors and the crowd kept energies high and the atmosphere light. Technical difficulties left the lighting system in question merely days before the show, but quick thinking on the directors’ parts gave the stage a pleasant glow of LEDS, which did not detract from the performance in any way.

Overall, the fall play went down as a positive installment in the Barbosa-Parker dynasty, but credit is due to everyone who participated. Fantastic shows for everyone in the theater department give hope for the upcoming winter musical, All Shook Up!. And if this play was any indication, it will be a show for the ages.