Show 21: Where: St. Joseph High SchoolDirector: Sarah JenningsSophia Swettenham, Lead CriticElmwood SchoolA great aspect of theatre is its ability to showcase totally unique perspectives perspectives that are sometimes overlooked, or that are so extraordinary that through any other medium they would be misunderstood. In St.
Joseph High Schools production of , the viewpoints and attitudes of a variety of mad people were presented through the eyes of the generous and open-minded Mrs. Savage. Through thoughtful acting and carefully crafted sets and costumes, the plethora of perspectives was certainly celebrated and honoured.
In The Cloisters Mental Institute in mid-twentieth century America, the addition of Mrs. Savage (Emma McCulloch) is a great surprise to the whimsical crew of patients, all living in their own unique versions of reality. Upon the death of her husband, Mrs.
Savage has inherited quite a large sum of bonds, but is thought to be insane by her three ruthless stepchildren for wanting to donate her inheritance instead of keeping it for the family. As Mrs. Savage gets to know the patients, they grow to love her and aid her when she is confronted by her greedy stepchildren in a battle over the bonds, a true clash between good and evil.
Amidst a backdrop of kooky characters, Emma McColloch presented a steady Mrs. Savage, marked with a few quirky streaks. Such an interpretation allowed her to convey the necessary maternal air, which helped unearth some of the other characters secrets, while still showcasing similarities between her and the others so that a great connection was established onstage.
Eccentricity itself was personified by Siobhn McMahon in the role of Fairy May, a young woman who perpetually yearns for attention and love. Her exaggerated movements, often made purposefully awkward, helped to portray Fairy Mays inherent immaturity.As Hannibal, a man who unfoundedly believes he to be a great concert violinist, Spencer Clermont acted with great commitment and verve.
His comedic inclinations helped to make many of Hannibals actions, such as playing the violin dreadfully and throwing cards in the air and picking them up as a bizarre form of exercise, hilarious to watch.Not all of the patients at The Cloisters were exuberant. Bobby Montminy gave a sombre yet poignant performance as Jeffrey, a soldier experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Montminys introverted characterization of Jeffrey was enhanced by his physicality. Indeed, he moved almost mechanically, with unexpected jerks, quite reminiscent of soldiers who suffered the effects of shell shock.The atmosphere of a mental institution was skilfully evoked by the sets, designed by Milena Adames.
The blue colour palette, including pale blue wallpaper and a turquoise chesterfield, created an air of calm and a relaxed atmosphere, as underscored by the doctors at the institution. However, the choice to adorn the institution with furniture of varying styles, including a French provincial dresser, an Art Nouveau radio, and mid-twentieth century chairs, alluded to the overall eclecticism of the patients.Costumes, designed and collected by Siobhn McMahon and Tessa Moore, also suited the time period.
More traditional women, such as Florence (Tessa Moore), were dressed in full-skirted dresses in pretty pastels, while the femme fatale, Lily Belle (Makenna Dancose) wore a slinky black dress. The men wore era-appropriate argyle sweaters and blazers.With a variety of idiosyncratic performances, eclectic set, and colourful costumes, the cast and crew of St.
Joseph High Schools uncovered the necessity of originality in an increasingly uniform and materialistic world.Kyra Devonish, CriticMother Teresa High SchoolWho are the ones that are truly insane Is insanity exemplified when one treats a baby doll as her own son Or is it demonstrated when one treats a large sum of money as a loved one The intriguing circumstances around one womans institutionalization questioned societys definition of sanity in St. Joseph High Schools production of .
Written by John Patrick and premiering October 1950, this play recounts the trials of Ethel P. Savage. After the passing of her husband, she is left with both ten million dollars and the resurfacing of old dreams that had been once forgotten.
Against the wishes of her children, Mrs. Savage chooses to donate the money to various charitable causes. Not only does she now have to face the grief from loosing her beloved, but the wrath of her remarkably greedy children, who will do whatever necessary to get their hands on some cash.
The cast and crew of St. Joseph High School delivered a captivating performance complete with heartfelt moments and comedic relief.Emma McCulloch as Ethel P.
Savage aptly portrayed her characters unique spunk as she interacted with the other patients inside The Cloisters. She did an impressive job portraying emotions of both joy and despair as she felt the love of her new friends and the frustration of her stepchildren.Spencer Clermont, in the role of Hannibal, brought a charismatic confidence to the stage, as he helped Mrs.
Savage settle into her new environment. His boldness added a new energy on stage that was admirable. Siobhn McMahon was tremendously adorable in the role of Fairy May.
Her comical portrayal of mundane activities such as walking and climbing stairs was always appreciated.Kyle Conger, Patrick Harris, Justin Hope-Wyllie and Mason Thivierge worked together as the lighting crew, executing nearly every cue perfectly. Creative lighting schemes, such as using a lamp on stage to turn off all of the stage lights, were impressive.
St. Joseph High Schools comical production of was entertaining and very well done. This show served as a reminder to always seek out multiple perspectives and remember that sanity is subjective.
Will Prieur, Lead CriticMother Teresa High SchoolBecoming old and losing ones mind may seem like no laughing matter, but the cast and crew of St. Joseph High School showed otherwise in their hilarious production of .The play, written by John Patrick, was first performed in October of 1950 at the Martin Beck Theatre and was produced by the New York Theatre Guild.
The play is about a woman named Ethel P. Savage (Emma McColloch), whose husband has died and left her ten million dollars. Her greedy and spendthrift stepchildren have her committed to a mental institution called The Cloisters, in an attempt to get the money for themselves.
While in the institution, Mrs. Savage makes friends with the other patients. When her children later return, questioning where the money has been hidden, the fun begins.
A large part of the shows success was due to McCollochs exceptional portrayal of the eccentric Mrs. Savage. McColloch was an arresting presence whenever she was on stage.
She delivered Ethels flawed puns with a tender demeanour. Through her frail movements and loving tone, McColloch perfectly represented a mother in her scenes with her fellow Cloister residents. The theme of what a real family is came through in scenes with Hannibal (Spencer Clermont) especially.
In their production, the cast of St. Joseph High School showed strong comedic timing, through characters like the Cloister residents Hannibal and Fairy May (Siobhn McMahon). McMahon, playing the part of a compulsive liar, showed high energy throughout the show.
Through her loud entertaining bursts of childlike speech and her gregarious nature, McMahon exuberantly portrayed a grown-up stuck in a fantasy of still being a young child.Another standout in the show was Spencer Clermont playing a statistician who was replaced by technology. Clermont always managed to get a laugh out of the audience as Hannibal, who is convinced he is a violin virtuoso but really cannot play.
He was literally gut busting with his slapstick movements as he futilely tried to exercise around a potbelly.The set, designed by Milena Adames, was another highlight, as it looked like a comforting and homey abode for these residents. Adames and the set crew from St.
Joseph paid tremendous attention to detail with comfy couches, a vintage radio, an old piano and overflowing bookcases. The crew even decorated the set with old-fashioned wallpaper.The many costumes, put together by Siobhn McMahon and Tessa Moore, were also true to the era of the early 1950s.
All of the patients wore specific colours or patterns in each of their outfits to match their characters. One special costume was a deliberately hideous pink and green floral dress worn by Fairy May, with many big bows and buttons sewn on to it.Cheers to the St.
Joseph High School cast and crew of for putting on a witty and entertaining show that stayed true to the theme of looking below the surface to find the true nature of people!Erin Lynn, Lead CriticSt. Paul High SchoolLaughter is healthy!
While the 1950s are remembered as a classy, polished decade, St. Joseph High School reminded viewers that one could find humour in unlikely situations, just as one might find sanity in a sanatorium. first opened in October 1950.
The comedy satirizes wealth and explores mental health by following Mrs. Savage, a supposedly senile woman, who is forced into a sanatorium for investing heavily in a memorial fund to live her dream life and to help others.The cast and crew produced a both hilarious and endearing play.
The cast cohered excellently and managed to portray unique relationships, while those behind the stage rendered the performance a just tribute to the 1950s.Emma McColloch portrayed Mrs. Savage.
She personified her characters elderly age and optimistic glow confidently, with calm, smooth movements and a crisp voice. She interacted with all other cast members excellently, which rendered their relationships captivating.Jaebets Joseph played one of Mrs.
Savages greedy children, Samuel. Contrasting his siblings austere personalities, he delivered his lines with hilarious, exaggerated anger that represented his characters foolish nature.The Cloisters drove the shows energy with their powerful dynamic.
The ensemble portrayed the quirky bonds the patients shared, for example, by barrelling up and down stairs, toppling over each other, or walking fastidiously around a carpet. Siobhan McMahon played Fairy May, one of the patients. She embodied her high-strung, childish character amazingly through her exaggerated and peculiar movements and shrill, piercing voice.
Even in the background of scenes, she would move around characteristically. When her character wore a dress held together by pins, for example, she would squeal in pain as she sat down.Another member of the Cloisters, Jeffrey, was played by Bobby Montminy.
Portraying a much more subdued character, Montminy balanced the casts high energy with slow pensive movements. His actions also portrayed his character with consistency. As the veteran was scarred, he shakily held his hand to his face for the entire play, giving the illusion of shell-shock.
Sets, designed by Milena Adames and her team, echoed the fifties. The set ranged from eye-catching, exquisite pieces such as a regal baby blue couch, vintage lamp, and patterned wallpaper, to small details such as a flower painting, candlestick, and tall plant. Hairstyles suited characters unique personalities; the angry Mrs.
Paddy had teased, unruly hair, while the elegant, though eccentric, Mrs. Savage donned a blue-tinted wig tied into a bun. Makeup, although subtle, fit the time period, with rouged cheeks and bright red lips.
St. Joseph High School rendered their production of an authentic period piece, an entertaining comedy, and a thoughtful lesson on family, love, and greed.Cassandra Chabert, CriticSt.
Paul High SchoolMoney, insanity, a group of misfits, and a sprinkle of 50s swing music; what can go wrong From the comedic timing to the intricate sets, St. Joseph High Schools production of was mirthful and created a memorable lesson., a comedy written by John Patrick, takes place during the 1950s.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Savage, an elderly woman, is sent to The Cloisters institution by her stepchildren. Here, she fits in with an odd but comforting group of people that just want to be loved.
As she reveals that she has hidden the 10 million dollars her husband left behind, her stepchildren are on the hunt for the bonds. Torn between her family, the patients, and her morals, Mrs. Savage keeps her wits and unexpectedly reveals the hiding spot while recognizing the value of others.
Emma McColloch, as Mrs. Savage, played her role with certainty. McColloch had a mother-like presence on stage and throughout the show.
Between her facial expressions and her genuine sympathy, McColloch made the story believable. Additionally, she kept small mannerisms and never broke out of character. As she comforted Mrs.
Paddy (Sarah Siciliano), McColloch softened her tone, which helped build the emotional impact of the story. To enhance her character, bold colours were chosen to respect the era and to reflect her persona.As Samuel Savage, Jaebets Joseph expressed lots of humour with his side comments accompanied by large gestures and constant bickering with Lily Belle (Makenna Dancose).
With their dynamic rapport, Joseph and Dancose characterized the reality of siblings through their tone of voice and physicality. Even when they were not the main focus of the scene, they were always in character and occupied themselves with small slaps and frustrations.Altogether, the cast created an energetic show, despite the limited location.
At times, it was difficult to hear what actors said due to poor pronunciation or missed lines, but their constant enthusiasm and natural ability to recover compensated for this. Additionally, the actors embodied their characters, which rendered the play a realistic scenario. The patients admiration and love for Mrs.
Savage created a realistic family-like scene, while Mrs. Savages stepchildren persistently kept at her throat when it came to the bonds.To support these characters, the set, created by Milena Adames, imitated a 1950s style.
Blue wallpaper was carefully cut and secured to the flats. Inside the room, furniture from the 50s era was well placed around the set, including a bright blue couch on top of a carpet. Other intricate details such as candles and flowers sat amongst the vivid decorations.
The performers made good use of their space, thanks to the practicality of the set and their movement of the props. Each object served a purpose and flowed from actor to actor or from actor to table effortlessly. The head of Mrs.
Savages teddy bear, for example, could be ripped off and attached back on immediately in a short transition.Through the cast members convincing acting and chemistry, and the intricate details found around the set, the students at St. Joseph High School produced a phenomenal production of .
The production at St. Joseph High School was reviewed by 34 critics representing 12 schools. The critic discussions were mentored by teacher Jennifer Simpson of Mother Teresa High School and student reviews were edited and selected for publication by teacher Anne-Louise Andrade of St.
Mark High School, who could see only the reviews, not the names or schools of the reviewers.The Citizen and 26 high schools are participating in the Cappies, a Washington, D.C.
-based program that uses high school critics to review high school theatre. The program is a unique partnership between the Citizen, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Three schools from other boards in the region and two private schools have also joined.
The four winners of the lead acting categories will receive a bursary provided by the international law firm Gowling WLG Canada LLP.Follow the Cappies on Twitter @OttawaCappies.