Students Perform Interactive Fall Play on Zoom

Director, cast explore new ideas for theater department amidst pandemic

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Audrey Ronan

Shown above is the entire crew of the upcoming play, including Taous Khazem, Audrey Ronan ‘21, Riley Carroll ‘24, Truman Morsman ‘23, Nora Cornell ‘21, Aarathi Dhavileswarapu ‘24, Declan O’Connell ‘23, Sarah Costa ‘23, Joshua Smith ‘23, Taggert Smith ‘21, John Erlandson ’21, Oskar Alexander ‘23, and Amanda Ward ‘21.

Christina Chekerdjieva, Perspectives Editor

We’ve heard about live streaming concerts, but how about our own fall play? This year’s fall play adjusted to the complications of COVID-19 and became an interactive Zoom experience. 

The fall play this year is called “Choose Your Heist” by playwright Dean O’Carroll, which was written to be performed over Zoom. The story follows a priceless painting in the Cosmopolitan Museum of Art as the museum owner attempts to keep it safe from a group of elite thieves. However, at every twist and turn of the story, the audience chooses the direction the play will take through the poll feature in Zoom. The popular vote of the poll will decide the outcome of the play. At the end, the audience can decide if they want to end the show or go back and follow an alternative path. One version of the show lasts around 40 minutes to an hour, so it gives the audience plenty of time to go back and see every different outcome if they choose to. Our new director, Taous Khazem, the nine cast members, and 18 crew members will bring this play to life through the screen. 

2020 has carried many changes to the community, and the addition of Khazem as the new theater director is one of them. Audrey Ronan ‘21 describes Khazem to be “adaptable, professional, outgoing, and down to earth. She has so many great ideas for the theater department, ideas that we will definitely keep and use even after COVID to broaden the scope of what theater at Blake entails, such as foley artistry, radio shows, and performances outside of the MPAC.” 

Next spring, we can expect another creative approach to performing during a pandemic with a “walking play.”  Khazem describes the walking play, saying “the audience moves from place to place guided by the actors. Every time the actors land in a location, the scene is performed there.”  The show will be outdoors and performed three times a day so the crowds can be smaller and can allow for more distance. 

You can join the Zoom to see the fall play on Nov. 20 at 7:30, Nov 21 at 7:30, and Nov. 22 at 2:00. You can expect a Zoom link in a grade conference email and in your parents’ inbox as well.