During West fall play, students learn more about themselves

The Beaux Stratagem, a restoration comedy written in the 1700s, provides opportunities for classmates to bond



Kylee O’Brien plays Mrs. Sullen in the play The Beaux Stratagem, the West Campus fall play. The play premiered on October 2 during a parent and faculty preview performance and ran the proceeding weekend.

Stacy Correra, Staff Writer

The lights shined brightly on the West Campus auditorium stage during the fall play “The Beaux Stratagem”, radiating heat. On that stage in heavy, hand-made costumes, the cast said their lines naturally, as if each character’s words were theirs. 

Opening on October 2, “The Beaux Stratagem” was the first play to premiere during the 2019-20 school year. “Basically, the show is about two guys who come into town looking to scam women for their money, and I was one of the women that was scammed, but then he fell in love with me,” says senior Kylee O’Brien, who played the lead female role in the play. “It was so much fun and it was a different character from what I normally play, so I was very excited for the role.”

O’Brien’s character, who was named Mrs. Sullen, was married to junior David Henry’s character named Squire Sullen. The marriage was described as “rocky”, and leads to a divorce at the end of the play.

“It’s a really great insight into theater in England during a very pivotal time of their history of theatre. It’s also just a really funny show with a lot of good jokes, a lot of good costuming, and an overall fun experience,” says Henry. 

Junior Chad Norizsan was also a cast member in The Beaux Stratagem, and it was his first main stage play. He had previously been involved in one-acts and was very excited to play Charles Freeman, who was Mrs. Sullen’s somewhat estranged brother.

“It was a lot more intense than one-acts [previously] were, and it took a lot more work. I had to memorize more than just one act and I had to memorize a lot more lines. It was definitely good getting to meet more people because with one-acts it was a lot more tight-knit community. Then, with this, it was a lot more people and cast and crew in general,” Norizsan explains. “I had a lot of fun. At times it got really stressful because we would have scenes that were really hard to get perfect in Mr. [Andy] Hillier’s eyes, but I had a blast getting to meet all of those new people. I had such an amazing time just exploring myself as an actor. I really grew so much throughout the play and I learned so much about myself.”

Theater, to many students, is a way of self-expression and a creative outlet. They are able to put themselves into the characters they play and form them around how they perceive the character to be. Acting is more than just a hobby to senior Jonny Krug, who played Tom Aimwell — a rich man from Europe who blew all of his money in dumb ways.

“Theater is one of the only things that are important to me besides friends and family because compared to movies and television, theater is live,” says Krug. “If something goes wrong, you have to fix that in front of the audience. It’s exhilarating to do, and I think it’s the most important form of storytelling.”

The play brought challenges to everyone involved, but everyone embraced the changes and challenges with a brave face covered in stage makeup. The way they handled this show that they only had about a month to work on was superior in a way that they pulled it off nearly flawlessly. It is just one example of how talented the arts departments at MCHS truly are.