Spirit of performance

play flier

Georgia Geen

While the general populace is busy complaining
about Christmas music
appearing the second after Halloween
costumes are placed back in the
attic, some play participants in the
Hanover Theater Company have
been preparing for the holiday since
September. This is a side effect of
performing the well-known holiday
story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
The performances will take place
on Thursday, December 4th, Friday,
December 5th and Saturday, December
6th. Each performance will
start at 7 p.m. However, it isn’t all
Cindy Lou-Who all the time at play
practices. Unlike previous years, two
short plays will be performed, one
after the other. “The Velveteen Rabbit”
was chosen as the second play.
Following the holiday
theme, in The
Velveteen Rabbit, a
young boy is gifted
with a stuffed bunny on
Christmas morning.
However, the soft-furred animal
can’t compete
with the other modern,
mechanical toys for
the boy’s attention. It
continues to tell the emotional
story of the affinity that the
young boy cultivates for his toy and
the turmoil that they face.
While both plays possess the true
meaning of Christmas, there’s a stark
difference between the overall tone
of each.
“The Grinch is a lot more chaotic,
considering how many little middle
school kids there are, because of how
crazy they can be,” junior Morgan
Cole said. Cole acts as the lead toy
himself in “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
Many roles in “The Velveteen
Rabbit” are toy roles, in addition to
the human roles. The Grinch has less
prominent characters, but features a
large ensemble of Whovillians. During
play practices, actors have many
opportunities to develop their characters,
in order to make their performances
more convincing.
“We kind of just sit there and
work with it. So, if I have an idea
that I want to do for my character,
I’ll just do it. If Ms. Boyd doesn’t
like it, she’ll be like, ‘No, that looks
weird,’ and we’ll scratch it,” junior
Kyra Vaughan said.
The decision to perform two plays
side-by-side is unique to this year.
It’s rare for a theater company to
take on two different plays, despite
the fact that both are on the short
side. At play practices, the ensemble
for each play splits up to work independently
of one another.
“We have to be on stage by 3:50
and then it just splits up from there.
Velveteen goes here, Grinch goes
here,” Cole said. Play practices tend
to last between 3 and 3.5 hours.
Practices are where the components
of the play begin to develop
and strengthen over the course of
the months of practice.
“I like seeing the final picture.
That’s normally when we have one
of our first dress rehearsals and we’re
all in character. We’re just starting
to get through it for the first time
and you see every little piece fall
into place,” Vaughan said.


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