Malden High Drama Presents: “The Dining Room” and Other Appetizers

By EMMA CEPLINSKAS and MANALE ZOUHIR

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As school comes to an end for the year, there are a few Malden High School traditions that must be honored. One of these is the Play Production’s spring play, which is different every year. This year’s play included two short plays and a finale of a much longer play called The Dining Room. Junior Sebastian Patino called this year “definitely one of the best spring productions.”

Play Production directors Sean Walsh and Allen Phelps collaborated  to make the play possible. “The maturity level and expectation of greatness were raised on the directors’ part. They wanted a well performed show.”

The short plays “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend,” and “Alas Poor Yorick”  were both written by MHS seniors. This demonstrates the skill that the students clearly have. Walsh expressed that, “We did two student written plays that I picked because I thought they were ready to stage and interesting.”

The first short play, “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend” was co-written by seniors Sarah Zeiberg and Stefaun Tallent-Maldonado. It featured MHS sophomores Sajeanah Cadet, Alex Silva and Zach Foster. The two played extremely contrasting characters which signaled a love interest between them. Not only was this comical but enjoyable for the audience.

The next play, “Alas Poor Yorick” written by senior Jason Drapinski, featured both romance and humor. The characters were played by seniors Michael Howe and Bridget McCarthy, who were workers at a morgue with a love affair. They were accompanied by junior Corey McFeely, who played a dead body. This was also a crowd-pleaser, with a fusion of both dramatic and comedic elements.

These plays opened up for the much longer play: The Dining Room.

This had many different story lines yet all tied together with the setting. All the characters in this dining room had a different story, but all of them were affected by the room.

Sophomore Sarah Bendell expressed that, “The Dining Room was such a fun show to do because there were so many characters and stories. For a lot of people, they got to play types of characters they’ve never played before...it was so exciting to see people broadening their skills and challenging themselves.”

The different plot focuses within the play contributed to the play’s diversity in actors. “We have a lot of actors lurking in the shadows and they had a chance to come out of their shells and perform in a strong way,” added Walsh.

The play was a satire on White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture that took place in the 1960s. It immediately grabbed the audience’s attention without any dull moments, with once again a combination heartfelt moments and humor.

The seating for these plays was limited, as the set up was different. It took place in the Jenkins auditorium like usual, but the seating arrangements were on the stage rather than in actual seats in the auditorium. The arrangement caused people to be closer to the action and understand what was going on clearer.

This also meant that tickets must have been purchased in advance, causing a sell out nearly all nights. Sophomore Kamila Regalado added that, “It was a great show, especially since the seniors are leaving. They taught us a lot.”

The setting of The Dining Room gave a homey feeling and was equipped with furniture and decor to add to the attitude. “Getting our dining room table, chairs, and alcohol cabinet [was a highlight to the play.] It really brought us into the world and we finally got to feel the real feeling of ‘our’ home,” added Patino.

The plays were all run mostly by the students with direction from Walsh and Phelps. Walsh added that “the students can do things on their own now. They can paint the sets, build the sets, without us necessarily telling them what to do.”

It is not easy to put on a production and have it go well over four times straight, but somehow, MHS did it. The chemistry from the cast and crew was a necessary addition to this. As Patino expressed, “Every kid has found their place on the stage and no one feels like they don’t belong. Everybody learned that it is a team effort to make a great show.”

MHS Play Production could not have had such a successful play, however, if it were not for the ongoing dedication of the cast and crew, as well as the directors. Both Walsh and Phelps gave their utmost efforts to make this play the best it could be. They continue to improve and entertain the Malden community year after year.

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