By Molly Manhoff of Oakton Excessive Faculty
4 youngsters. One highschool. All wading by the difficulties and struggles of psychological sickness as they desperately attempt to preserve their heads above water. Freedom Excessive Faculty’s Perspective dove deep into how actual excessive schoolers really feel and cope with their psychological well being struggles, and who they go to when their unconscious will get to be an excessive amount of. With vibrant characters and spectacular lighting, the forged and crew wove collectively a superb story of how everybody deserves a platform to talk, and everybody deserves to be listened to.
Whether or not it’s Riley’s (Tyler Potock) nervousness over embarrassing himself in entrance of a pair of strangers, Kayla (Ava Canonica) coping with an overbearingly, unrelentingly crucial mom, or Quinn’s (Heather McLaughlin) strained relationship with remedy, the present was crammed with attention-grabbing characters with struggles lingering slightly below the floor. Potock’s panic, revving up extra as his pal Sam saved urgent, felt stunningly real and relatable. His dynamic with Sam (Molly Anthony) clicked instantly, simply the correct mix of understanding finest pals and individuals who push just a bit too laborious. Canonica, weak and hurting, tugged on heartstrings along with her wrestle to fend for herself towards her mom’s (Abby Luck) biting–but laced with saccharine sweetness–phrases. She was candy and pained, the exact opposite of her first impression, and Luck’s scathing, passive-aggressive insults really embodied the character of a poisonous father or mother. To not point out McLaughlin, whose intense posture, strained phrases, and imaginary eventualities completely encapsulated the nervousness of how scary remedy might be for some individuals; of how their psychological well being and internal ideas stuffed them with doubt and inadequacy.
After all, forged alone isn’t what makes a manufacturing. The tech crew did an exceptional job. From the lighting to the set to the script, all the pieces was chosen with tuned consideration to element and story. The lighting, headed by Claire Nguyen, was skilled and character centered. The spotlights and transitions have been proper on beat with the scenes, specializing in the characters and their internal conflicts, to not point out creating a lot dimension throughout the minimal set. To not say that the set and props have been missing by any means. Collectively, Sarah Rossman and Cami DiVenere designed the varied rooms and halls the place the story passed off. From Quinn’s mattress to Dr. Clarke’s workplace, all the pieces was picked completely to determine the scene with out drawing the attention away from the actors. The script, written totally by college students (Allison Fountaine, Maeleigh Moore, Molly Anthony, and Lilly Christenbury), really drew on the highschool expertise. Coming proper from the supply, the writers made positive each
character had their very own distinctive perspective and expertise, reasonably than the one-note, flat storylines that have a tendency to come back from individuals outdoors of highschool.
With vivid, dimensional characters and a spectacularly detail-oriented tech crew, Perspective by Freedom Excessive Faculty was a superb showcase and deep dive into excessive schoolers’ minds and psychological well being. Susceptible and heartfelt, they really discovered their very own voices up on stage.
[This review of the May 22 performance Freedom High School is part of a series published in a partnership between Loudoun Now and The Cappies, a writing and awards program that trains high school theater and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders.]