Weathering the Weather

Showing this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Summit students take the wheel


Adri Jolie, Staff Writer

After school in the theater classroom, students prepared the first full run-through of the last show this season. Heavy black curtains were pulled around the room, transforming it into an aptly named “Black Box” theater. Able to sit exactly 65, this smaller theater allows for an interactive experience for both the audience and the cast. 

Divided into two acts, the production will showcase the drama department’s talent. Several student-written and directed plays will make up the first half, with volunteers and Stagecraft classes handling everything from lighting to acting. The second half is the short play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” produced entirely by the advanced theater class, Thunderous Applause. 

The overall theme of making the best of a bad situation has inspired this year’s stacked itinerary: “The Tempest,” “The Lightning Thief” and finally, this weekend’s final showing: “Weathering the Weather.”

“It comes from one of our theater warm-ups,” said Summit senior Sienna Swetland. “The whole point is when you’re faced with difficult tasks and you feel like you can’t go on and continue, you can get through it.”

Swetland—along with acting in “Cyrano” with the Thunderous Applause class—is also directing a short play she wrote with classmate Kate Wilson called “Small Stuff.” 

“Small Stuff” is just one of five other ten-minute productions that are completely student-produced. Among those are a short film, an arsonist comedy and a dramatic play featuring whales. Hilarious and touching, the volunteer cast and crew bring a new light to the theme of perseverance. 

“All of the directors are in charge of their costumes, figuring out what they want their scenic design to be and figuring out what props they want to use,” Swetland said.  

“I am playing Pat, a sort of down-on-his-luck carnival worker whose life really didn’t turn out the way he wanted it to,” said Summit sophomore Tess Nelson, who is acting in “Strength Test,” written by Adele Hattrup and directed by Betsy Stonich. Nelson, playing a greasy old man, will be dressed in carnival attire, and has just one of the many creatively-sourced costumes throughout the show.

Many students are helping with both backstage responsibilities and acting, often putting on someone’s makeup while reciting their lines. 

“I’m on costume design for ‘Cyrano,’’ said Summit sophomore Delaney Davis, who also plays Valvert, the actor-appointed “30-second-villain.” Davis wanted the role, she said, because of the sword fight that was choreographed for the character.

The second half of the show is “Cyrano de Bergerac,” which traditionally has had a male lead, Cyrano. He has been adapted into a woman for modern audiences, setting the stage for a queer romance. Despite this change, the dialogue and narration are classical, staying true to the theme of the play. 

“We took a really classical play that I had never heard of, and we made it a lesbian production instead. It’s way better,” Davis said. “It’s gonna be so good because our lead role is phenomenal.”

“I am really excited for a gender-bent, strong female role. I think that’s really cool,” said Summit senior Kate Wilson, who plays the lead, Cyrano. “It just has a lot of possibilities for very dramatic acting but also there’s lots of humor in it.”

Wilson, along with playing Cyrano, is also in charge of props, which meant hand-writing multiple letters, making swords, and building some of the set. 

“Cyrano is a cadet in one of the King’s Regiments,” Wilson said. “Cyrano is in love with the most beautiful woman in Paris, Roxane, but Roxane is in love with Christian.” Cyrano, being notably a person with a very long nose, feels inadequate to receive Roxane’s love, leading to a messy partnership with Christian. 

“So he’s the face, and she’s the voice,” Wilson said. The close stage makes it easier to see the actors’ faces, letting them express subtle emotions that would’ve otherwise been too far away to see on the regular stage. 

Wilson’s incredible performance as Cyrano compliments Madeline Wooster’s ‘Roxane’, who plays nicely in turn off of Archie Kerr’s Christian. Full of humor, poignant romance and heartbreak, “Cyrano de Bergerac” is a must-see. 

The first full rehearsal comes to an end with a congratulatory speech from the show’s producer, Lara Okamoto. A resounding cheer sounds throughout the room, as everyone takes the final steps towards the end of another season.