“You get to get in your car! And drive! To work! By yourself! Do you know what I would give to be able to drive? In my car? By myself? Anywhere? You leave me here all alone!’ shouts junior Jessie Rollins across the stage at her scene partner, rehearsing an emotional climax in the Drama Team’s new production, Love/Sick by John Cariani.
The show contains nine different two-person scenes, all revolving around couples in a world slightly unlike our own. In each scene, there’s something a little off that makes the relationships go awry. Director Devon Kasper describes it as a dark comedy, and the show uses these borderline-supernatural problems as a way to exacerbate the inherent absurdity and melodrama that often plagues relationships. “Love/Sick is a play with a lot of surreal moments and themes, not unlike living through a pandemic!” said director Cat Schliecher. She said she is very proud of the cast and their flexibility. The cast is keen to get back on stage, even with covid.
After over a year without a show, the Drama Team is excited to finally be able to act again. Love/Sick is particularly suited to the COVID era, as all scenes only require two people, and are able to be blocked socially distanced. Still, Coronavirus has presented some challenges to the team. Schleicher said she hopes that the play is going to be captivating. COVID-19 has required the team to cut most meaningful interactions such as a hug, kiss, or a hand hold. That isn’t even to mention the underlying fear that the show will again face a last-minute cancellation, like last year.
“My current worry is that we are going to get shut down during either of our tech weeks or we will have another Clue situation where we were told at the last minute that we can’t put on the show we worked so hard on,” said sophomore Danica Hinerman, a member of the technical crew.
Last year, COVID-19 came to America during the midnight hour of rehearsals. On the last night of their Tech rehearsals, where they stay five hours after school each day for the two weeks directly prior to their performance, the Drama team was told that their performances scheduled for that weekend were canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. After it became clear that in-person schooling wouldn’t be returning before the summer, the Drama team orchestrated a performance of Clue done over the internet, which was later put on the internet and aired on KHEN’s Storytime Radio. Later that summer, to make up for Shakespeare in the Park, the Drama team put on an entirely Zoomed play, where actors worked remotely from their homes.
“I know the actors miss moving around on stage and the whole process of putting on a show. I also know that the crew misses those things too,” said Hinerman.
Junior Jay Lobeck, who is playing a singing telegram in this production, was excited to get back on stage after such a long hiatus. “[I am] ecstatic to be presenting Love/Sick in-person this year,” Lobeck said. “At first I had some standoffish feelings involving Love/Sick being a romance play and all, but as I continue to move along with this play I learn to love it more and more.”
The Drama team will be performing Love/Sick the weekend of April 9th. They will have two evening shows on Friday, April 9th and Saturday, April 10th at 7 p.m. and will have a matinee on Sunday, April 11th at 2 p.m. Tickets will cost $5 for adults and $4 for students. As Schleicher said, “The spirit of theatre remains as vibrant as ever!”