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Grade 9 Theater Performance

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

When they go low

The 9th grade Drama students performed the topical play When They Go Low by Natalie Mitchell which was written last year specifically for teenagers and set in a high school, not dissimilar to our own.

The story follows a fierce School Captain campaign between Scott and Louise, nodding to the dirty politics of the Trump/Clinton rallies and reminding an audience of how low people can go in order to win. The boys at the school, spurred on by Scott´s sexist brother Charlie - played impressively by Emily Lomander, who took on several parts -  "go really low" by rating the girls on their appearance on a website and ruining their protest march for equality. This influences the girls´ learning on what having to "go high" truly means in order to enrich the lives of everybody, irrespective of gender, in the school community.

The ensemble cast played many different roles seamlessly with Zoe Davis (who also designed the poster), Guillermo Corbero Carreres, Natalie de Wolf Slomka and Mimi Wuebker taking on more prominent roles. Rita Batievsky tried her hand at directing a scene which included important figures such as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Madonna and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She did lots of research into these famous people to help develop precise characterisations, and Minju Kim was very organised as the stage manager, as well as acting in the play. The staging configuration with the audience clustered around a thrust (catwalk-style) stage had characters popping up from the seats around them, including them in the action and reiterating that the themes and issues revealed in When They Go Low are real and affect all our lives.