By Zach Jones and Monica Colletti
Middle school thespians found themselves in a motley collection of roles in this year’s middle school fall play, Alan Haehnel’s “The Unfinished.” Directed by Monica Colletti, this one-act comedy found its characters at the mercy of a writer (Alexander Kumar, grade 6) who has not yet finished their stories, essentially imprisoning them in his mind.
When the innocent Melisande (Claire Russell, grade 7) enters their already-crowded world, the characters are forced to examine the significance of a newcomer. The ever-cynical Guy (Haris Hosseini, grade 8) and the hopeful Narrator (Claire Newman, grade 8) disagree on the likelihood that they will ever be realized, while the surly Janitor (Max MacKinnon, grade 7) simply wishes they would all leave. In the end, the wide variety of character archetypes, including the Bride and Groom (Dilara Ezer and Matthew Hajjar, both grade 8), the Cheerleader (Ellie Lang-Ree, grade 8) and the Clown (Jai Bahri, grade 7), find themselves freed through the Writer’s clever inclusion of the mall in one manuscript – a play titled “The Unfinished.”
Paul Vallerga’s set design was appropriately sparse for this particularly character-driven story. Carol Clever’s costume design was also simple but effective, making the characters appropriately recognizable.