MATV is now running the full-length recording of the original play performed by Malden High School Play Production for the Massachusetts State Dramafest held in February-March 2016. The group advanced past the preliminary round in the competitive festival, which brings together students from across the state who are involved in theater. You can watch a few clips from the show below and see the whole production through MATV’s video-on-demand. Viewer discretion is advised. The following article was written by Nada Tufaha for Malden High School’s news source, the Blue & Gold.
Malden High School Play Production held a show on Feb. 25, 2016 called “All The King’s Actors”. This show was entered in the Theatre Guild’s High School Dramatic Festival competition. The requirements for the festival include presenting a show that is under 40 minutes and a set up for a set in under 5 minutes.
“All The King’s Actors” was based off of the specific quote “the heart wants what it wants, but it does not care.” The show had many examples of modern day issues, specifically ones that the cast members thought were important and were passionate about. Senior Sarah Bendell, who played Sarah, said “the show is basically about people living in a society where a newly elected president puts a ban on theatre.”
In the show, the characters are debating on whether or not they should fight for their rights with theatre. Many of the idea’s of the president in the show, specifically the idea of banning theatre, seemed to be influenced by Donald Trump and his ideas for the United States.
Bendell added that “by using the idea of theatre being as a platform to speak out on important issues in a tasteful way, [the cast] knew it was the right direction to go in”. The show also addressed aspects of oppression and racism. One such scene was when senior Sajeanah Cadet, who played Sajeanah, was trying to explain to Sarah that she will never understand how it feels to be oppressed, or portray a character that is being oppressed.
The actors all used their real names, which seemed to make the connection to their characters much stronger. Also, senior Ricardo Melgar stated that “most of [his] lines came out of improv, it was what came into play when [they] created the plot.”
The cast rehearsed after school, over February vacation as well as in their personal time. Bendell and other cast members prepared for the show in several different ways. She mentioned that “a lot of [them] spent time trying to not only look into [themselves] and understand not only why theatre is important to [them], but why it is important to the world,” and incorporated that into the show.
“[They] talked a lot about current events and important details because [they] knew that in order to put on this kind of show, [they] needed to be open and honest and well informed about the topics [they] were talking about”. It was very clear that the cast was well versed on the topics they were addressing. Overall, Play Production held a remarkable show that successfully portrayed issues in today’s societies.
Nada Tuffaha is a student at Malden High School and on the staff of the Blue & Gold.