The middle school performing arts department changed things up a bit for this year’s fall theater productions, putting on a double bill last week at the Blackford Theater.
The first show of the evening was Alan Haehnel’s “No Show,” guest-directed by Harker alumnus Cooper Sivara ’07, who also served as an assistant director on the upper school production of “The Laramie Project.” This production was also the first annual grade 6 play, a brand new addition to the middle school performance schedule, and featured a cast made up entirely of grade 6 students. In this unique comedy, a group of theater students find themselves in a troubling position, all of them having forgotten that they are to give a final exam performance at the very moment they all appear on stage. Faced with the possibility of a failing grade, the actors band together to produce a play on the spot, humorously surveying the basic tenets of theater in the process.
Next was Phil Willmott’s version of “Treasure Island,” directed by Monica Colletti, which changed the gender of many key characters from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic swashbuckling tale, losing none of the charm or adventurous spirit in the process. Compared with “No Show’s” appropriately minimalist setting and wardrobe, Caela Fujii’s costumes and Paul Vallerga’s set design for “Treasure Island” seemed positively flamboyant, though nevertheless fitting for a story of adventure on the high seas, punctuated by exciting set pieces and fight choreography by Kit Wilder.