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Repertory Theater class performs first shows in school history

"Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" and "Harvey" are the first two shows performed by Repertory Theater students since the establishment of the class

Hannah Chern, Mill Valley News social media editor and JagWire news editor

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The new Repertory Theater class set off their inaugural year by performing their first two shows. “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” by Greg Allen was performed on Thursday, Dec. 6 and “Harvey” by Mary Chase was performed on Friday, Dec. 7.

Repertory Theater is a new addition to the school this year. Unlike the normal main stage theater productions, Repertory Theater is a class that became open for students to audition for last year.

After the extensive process of trying to get Repertory Theater approved as a class, drama teacher Jon Copeland is satisfied that he can provide a new opportunity for students.

“I’m so glad my advanced [theater] students, and especially those who want to major in theater in college, can be challenged more by taking the Repertory Theater  class,” Copeland said.

Junior Shaina Isaacsen, student director of “Harvey,” has been part of the theater department since her freshman year and has seen differences of directing a Repertory Theater show compared to a normal main stage show.

“The difference is that Copeland didn’t really play a hand in directing this,” Isaacsen said. “He gave me all the control because we are the main directors which means that I blocked every single scene and I ran every single practice.”

The performers in “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” interacted with the audience by having a random audience member participate in the play.

Sophomore Ellie Boone, who was the one selected at random, didn’t know how to react first.

“They didn’t tell me any directions so I just went up [on the stage],” Boone said. “I didn’t want to be not funny so I just went up there and did what was funny because it was a blind date.”

For junior Lauren O’Neal, being connected with the audience is helpful for a performer.

“I think an interactive show is a lot better because the audience gives you a feedback of what you are doing while you are performing,” O’Neal said.

Boone believed that getting randomly selected added to the show positively.

“I felt like it made the audience participate more and it was more fun that way because the audience wanted to get involved,” Boone said.

According to O’Neal, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” turned out “better than what was believed,” even with the small crowd, because it was “very interactive.”

Even though she thought that not everyone was fully prepared due to the short time they had to prepare, senior Lindsey Edwards, who played Veta Simmons in “Harvey,” was really satisfied with how the show turned out.

“I am really pleased with how [the show] went,” Edwards said. “[Even though] nobody really knew their lines going into this week, we were able to pull it together and have nothing detrimental happen.”

For Edwards, the laughing that came from the audience was very special.

“It just gave me confidence to know that the show is good and that the script is hilarious,” Edwards said. “It gives you a little bit of a [encouragement] to be like “we have to do this better, we have to get through this, we have to continue doing our best. The love that you give to the audience is reciprocated back in the love that they give back to you and that is a fantastic feeling.”

After the turnout of “Harvey,” Isaacsen hopes to implement what she had learned in order to improve her directing.

“I definitely did some things that I would have done differently looking back,” Isaacsen said. “I hope to be more on time with things, get blocking done faster, getting to work with people more on their characters and it went great so I hope that happens again.

Repertory Theater continue to perform next semester. “Steel Magnolias” will be performed on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Thursday, Jan. 31 while “Our Town” will be performed on Friday, Feb. 8.

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Repertory Theater class performs first shows in school history