Sophomore Juliette Zúñiga and freshman Jordyn LaPlaca, playing the pink-haired chorus that is a part of Allison's (played by sophomore Harper Livesey) imagination, drape a blanket over Livesey during the Nov. 3 play. (Photo by Arijit Trivedi)

First drama performance captivates audience

Country Day’s drama elective put on its first play of the year after school on Nov. 3, performing “This Is A Test” by Stephen Gregg. 

“This Is a Test” is a 30-minute comedy depicting sophomore Harper Livesey as the protagonist, Allison, as she navigates taking a test in class.

Coming out of COVID-19 for the first play of the year, drama teacher Jane McGinnes wanted to do something light. 

“If you could imagine all of the nightmare scenarios that could possibly happen when you’re having a test, that’s what this play is about,” McGinnes said. 

Other characters in the play include sophomores Ike George as Pat, E Robinson as Louie, Sylvia Valverde as the teacher, Ishaan Sekhon as Chris and freshman Radha Chauhan as another student. Sophomores Aiden Cooley and sophomore Aiden Look were the test voice and sound effects, respectively. Sophomore Juliette Zúñiga and freshmen Ashley Lattyak and Jordyn LaPlaca played the pink-haired chorus.

The set featured the various actors in front of a screen as the background, all sitting in desks to take a test. The teacher roamed throughout the set during the play, while students mainly remained in chairs. 

Costumes mostly included regular school wear to emulate a classroom environment, with the exception of three students acting as the pink-haired representations of the imagination of Allison, who came on and off the set multiple times throughout the play.

 In the play, Allison faces a host of challenges such as not receiving a review sheet, having a question without the correct answer, a question written in Chinese and other funny hardships.

As the play progresses, the situation becomes even weirder as Allison gets more lost.

“I enjoyed it,” Livesey said. “I think it was a very odd play. It was a fever dream. We’ve all had that dream of not knowing on a test, and I think it hit close to home for a lot of people.”

To prepare for the performance, Livesey spent 20 minutes daily memorizing lines, figuring out delivery and costume.

McGinnes was happy with the performance.

“I think it was good. We got a lot of laughs. It’s really nice to get a reaction from the audience laughing at you,” McGinnes said. “There’s nothing else in the world like that.”

Sophomore Ishaan Sekhon played Chris, a classmate of the protagonist who tries to cheat on the test.

“I was really nervous while I was on stage. But the more laughs I got, the more people were cheering, and the more my coworkers were doing well, the more my confidence rose,” Sekhon said. 

At one point in the play, an actor forgot a line. 

“We almost had a mess up, but our team handled it well,” Sekhon said.

According to McGinnes, performing outside in the elements was tough, especially with the lack of lights to focus the audience’s attention. 

Sekhon is excited to perform in more plays throughout the year. 

“I think the audience liked it. I liked it, so I hope we can keep on doing that in the future,” he said. “I suspect that the plays will get better and better as the actors become more confident.”

— By Saheb Gulati

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