Under a Midsummer Moon

El Modena Drama puts on a unique rendition of a periodic play

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Under a Midsummer Moon

Russell (far left) and David (second from left) clash over differing opinions about American troops

Russell (far left) and David (second from left) clash over differing opinions about American troops

Hannah Sutherland

Russell (far left) and David (second from left) clash over differing opinions about American troops

Hannah Sutherland

Hannah Sutherland

Russell (far left) and David (second from left) clash over differing opinions about American troops

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It’s the summer of 1969: kids everywhere are protesting the Vietnam War while the United States sends its first manned space flight to the moon. On Friday, April 25th, the El Modena Drama Club recaptured the emotions and angst of this time period with their production of Claudia Haas’ Under a Midsummer Moon.

The play centers on the lives of numerous characters that each react in different ways towards the Apollo 11 landing, the Vietnam War, and the divided country. David, played by sophomore Dylan Botero, shows contempt towards protestors in the park for their opposition to American troops. Hippie-protestor Russell, played by Xavier Williams, dislikes American troops for their committal to violence and leads several others to oppose the war. Joe, (Luis Ortiz) in the wake of the confusion and division in America at the time, wants nothing more than to discover who he truly is.

This performance was the last of a four-night set for the El Modena Drama Club. When asked what she expects out of the play, junior and tech-specialist Megan Acree says, “Seeing this is our last show, I expect this to be one of our best ones yet. Our lead girl Cooper puts on an Irish accent for her role so I think that should be one of the highlights.”

Cooper Crosby, who played a fairy named Madrigal, appears throughout the story as she leaves riddles in the park for the other characters to solve. She forms a bond with David, telling him in his doubt over the war that “everyone needs an hour of moonglow.” As the play comes to a close, the riddles she leaves end up teaching each character an important lesson about the importance of individuality. This idea helps ease the tensions between David and Russell, and gives Joe an extra boost of confidence in his search for self.

“I’m really proud of the students,” quips Drama teacher Mrs. Gillen post-play. “They all worked really hard and for some of them it was their first time being on stage. It was fun to see them get excited about it, and I’m really looking forward to more productions next year.”

When asked what she learned from her experiences on stage this past week Crosby says, “I think I just learned to be nice to everyone, because you never know what personal battles someone might be experiencing behind the scenes. It really works out when you’re just genuinely nice to someone.”

The next dramatic showcase will be student-directed and run, and will take place on May 28th and 29th. Bigger and better productions in the upcoming years are sure to follow.

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