“I always tell my students that there are three essential elements to theater,” says theater teacher Jeff Good, “place, performers, and audience. We’ve been missing the third of those crucial ingredients for over a year now. It will be good to be performing in front of a live audience again.”
This Thursday, November 18, Cardigan’s actors will have the opportunity once again to perform on the Humann Theatre stage for their classmates and teachers.
What’s the play for this momentous occasion? “I wanted something light,” says Mr. Good. He also was interested in staging a mystery, continuing the theme chosen for this year’s Annual Auction. Good Cop Bad Cop, by Ian McWethy and Jason Pizzarello fit the bill. According to Playscripts, this comedy chronicles “a catastrophic street sign switcheroo that has two rookie detectives grilling a motley crew of suspects and witnesses. Everyone from the high school mascot to a guy who may be Super Mario is pumped for information...and while these suspicious characters are combative, ridiculous, and downright incompetent, none of them seems guilty. With the clock ticking and their jobs on the line, can this good cop and bad cop collar a suspect before it's too late?”
For Cardigan, the comedy will be even more zany as the good cop and bad cop will be played by different actors in each scene. “We lost a week of rehearsal at the beginning of the year as students were kept in separate pods for the health and safety of the community,” explains Mr. Good. “So, rather than burden any one student with learning all the lines for the two roles, we divided the play up by scene. This also allows more boys to participate; if they showed up for auditions, they were given a part!”
Mr. Good says that throughout the fall during rehearsals he has been teaching the actors about hitting comedic beats and learning how to engage other players and the audience. “Each student has their lines that they are responsible for,” he says, “but they have to recognize they are building something much bigger than themselves. The magic of a live performance depends upon everyone recognizing how they fit into a greater whole; they are dependent upon their fellow actors and on the stage builders and the stage crew. Each actor’s role is important but so is everyone else’s.”
Take for example the set that was created by woodworking teacher John Burritt and his set design club. While Mr. Good and Mr. Burritt had their own ideas about how to set the scene, the set design club came up with a different design, allowing the scenery to be fixed with only the lights changing to one of three different locations. “It was their idea and once they explained it to us, it was clear that theirs was the best solution,” says Mr. Good.
The whole crew has worked hard this fall, collaborating together so that when the seats of Humann are filled once again, they’ll be ready.