During this year’s high school play, actors will stand at the front of the stage, dressed all in black, with their scripts on a stand in front of them.
Although this may seem unconventional, this year’s play is a radio play, which has no visual component but rather relies on dialogue and sound effects.
“We are like robots just standing there and telling the story,” senior Brandy Riziki said.
“Imagine yourself in your car, listening to a whole story on the radio. But this is a play, so people are seeing us talking and making the sound effects.”
However, this year’s performace was not originally going to be a radio play.
Earlier this fall, the play was changed from “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward to H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” after one of the actors had a conflict.
The play will be Thursday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in the MP Room. Ticket prices have not yet been decided.
The science fiction play tells the story of a scientist, John, who creates a time machine and uses it to travel to the future.
Once he returns to the present, he recounts his adventures to his fellow scientists — some of whom believe him, while others don’t.
Senior Josh Friedman said that while he would have really enjoyed performing the original play, he thinks “The Time Machine” is a good substitute.
“It’s a new experience because I have never done a radio play before,” Friedman said.
Friedman, who plays John, described the character as “inquisitive and eager to please.”
“He’s built a time machine, which is crazy,” Friedman said. “His friends don’t believe he actually went to the future, and he wants to demonstrate that it really does work.”
Riziki plays the role of Mrs. Philby, who believes John’s story.
“I’m the one who introduces the story and narrates what happens,” she said.
According to Riziki, almost everyone in the cast plays a scientist.
“There are special characters, but I don’t want to spoil it!” Riziki said.
However, she did give the example of junior Savannah Rosenzweig, who is a maid.
“She does a lot of the sound effects because she doesn’t have a big part,” Riziki said.
The sound effects, which Riziki said are her favorite part, are created either with the actors’ voices or with props.
“The sound effects are written into the script, and it’s up to us to find the props to make the sound effects happen,” Riziki explained.
“There is a doorbell sound that we have to make, but instead of finding a recorded audio that has the sound, we make it ourselves. We have a prop doorbell, and the person just has to turn it to make that sound.
“We have been trying so many things, and it is so fun!”
Friedman said that not being able to move around is the most challenging part of the play.
“I rely a lot on movement to get my expression across,” Friedman said.
“You can’t have actors looking at other actors while they are saying their lines because you’re performing as if you’re on the radio.”
However, Friedman said that this means he can focus on other aspects of performing.
“The restriction of movement has helped me with how I say lines and (express) emotion,” Friedman said.
“Learning how to say different lines is fun when you finally get it and it clicks.”
Friedman also identified his large role as a difficulty.
“I have a lot of very, very long monologues,” Friedman said.
“I usually play minor parts, but since I am a senior, I get big parts this year.
“It is my first large part, and it is a very large part — my lines are about half of the play.”
Friedman said having the script in front of him during the play will help, since he won’t have to memorize everything.
However, Riziki said that puts more pressure on the actors.
“We are not allowed to screw up,” she said.
“When you have the script memorized, you can change some sentences as long as it makes sense, but in this play we can’t do that. If we do mess up, we have to mess up in character, which is hard.”
Riziki said the cast’s focus is being as interesting as possible.
“There is not a lot of action going on to entertain the audience, so we have been practicing enunciation, tone and speed,” she said.
—By Sarina Rye