CHS Theatre Closes the Curtain on the 21-22 School Year

CHS Theatre Closes the Curtain on the 21-22 School Year

Katharyn MacDonald, Contributor

On the evenings of May 20 and 21, the students of Double Edge Productions (DEP) put on their last show for the 2021-2022 school year. Two Shows One Box 2022 was composed of three short abstract plays performed by just four talented thespians, juniors Ryder Russell and Julianna Fluharty, sophomore Sam Carroll, and freshman Fiona Woodland. Following the plays, there was a cabaret-style talent showcase.

Multiple cast members said that what they loved most about this production was being able to grow close with the rest of the cast. Fluharty said, “The other three people in the cast with me made the show for me. The bond we’ve formed is more than I could ask for coming out of this show.”

The CHS Black Box Theatre is very different from the large, open auditorium, as it is a much more intimate setting. Fluharty said, “Performing in the Black Box felt very personal. Being in such close proximity meant that I could see every emotion on every audience member’s face, which was terrifying.”

Due to the proximity of the audience, the actors sometimes needed to adjust their styles. “Because of how close I acted near the audience, I was able to rely a lot more on subtle facial movements and body language, rather than having to exaggerate them,” said Woodland.

Others found the unique space a bit of a challenge. “It was a bit more nerve racking to be so close to (people), but it was definitely an experience I would recommend if someone wanted to ease themselves into theatre,” said freshman Emma Enright, who performed two songs (one solo, one duet) during the showcase.

“After having a virtual Two Shows One Box last year, we were hoping to get back to our traditional format in January (2022),” said theatre director Mrs. Cortney Costello. “Unfortunately, COVID still affected us this year. We had to postpone the show to May and drop one of the acts. I think it still worked out well—for the best even. We were able to substitute the second act for a showcase of DEP talent. We have done these in the past but couldn’t fit one in this year. This obstacle became an opportunity to do something we thought we would have to skip.”

The showcase featured many student talents such as singing, spoken word, dancing, and original acting. Regarding this performance compared to other shows with DEP, Freshman Taylor Pratt said, “Technically musicals and plays are more scripted. With those, people are limited to do certain things. With this performance, we had more of an opportunity to be free and show off more talents that were unknown before.”

Two Shows One Box 2022 was Woodland’s third show with DEP, and she said it has been her favorite so far. “I enjoyed working closely with everyone and the short stories we performed!” said Woodland.

Audience members were engaged by the actors’ enthusiasm. One audience member said that they were “impressed by the actors’ maturity as young performers. Everyone shined in a different way.”

Mrs. Costello said, “I think the three Ives pieces were challenging for the actors. They are all increasing absurdist pieces, so the actors really have to take risks and commit to them. I was really impressed with how well they did that. I was also very impressed by the commitment of all of the showcase participants.”

Sadly, this year’s Two Shows One Box was Mrs. Costello’s final production as the director of CHS’s theatre department. Woodland said, “I’m so grateful I got to be able to work with Mrs. Costello on her last show!” Fluharty said that none of the production would have been possible without Mrs. Costello. “She pointed us in the right direction and made sure we were confident in what we were doing. I want to say thank you to Mrs. Costello for giving me and my fellow peers a safe place to be ourselves and perform our little hearts out. I am going to miss you in theatre next year!”