“Last One Standing,” An Original Play
On Friday and Saturday evenings, November 7 and 8, Berkshire Country Day School will present, Last One Standing, an original one-act play created by 13 eighth- and ninth-grade students from BCD’s Upper School Stage and Film Ensemble. The play, directed by faculty-member Jesse Howard, offers a clever, insightful, and comic look at politics and the political process as seen through the eyes of 8-year-olds on a playground.
The original play was developed over a nine-week period, during which all participants engaged in improvisation exercises, character games, brainstorming sessions, and writing assignments. The result is a fully realized, polished production, complete with sets, costumes, all made by the students (above) under the guidance of Howard and his assistant director Rachel Siegel, with support from a team of dedicated parent volunteers. There is also a script, though, according to Howard, “the kids know the characters so well by this time, there’s still room for some improvisation.”
“I’m a big fan of Anne Bogart and Mary Zimmerman,” says Howard, citing two leading lights of a contemporary theatre movement dedicated to building material through a collaborative rehearsal process. “It’s very challenging,” he admits. “I was doing it at the high school level, then, when I started teaching in the lower grades, I realized, ‘These kids can handle this.’”
Indeed, the first such effort by the eight- and ninth-graders, last fall’s Nerdseye View, a comic look at the social hierarchy, was a big hit both within the school community and with the general public. No one close to the production believes Last One Standing will suffer by comparison. Opening just three days after the election, it offers an opportunity to reflect on the political process, perhaps gain a bit of wisdom, and certainly have a lot of laughs.
Berkshire Country Day School’s Winthrop Theater
45 West Street, Lenox; 413.637-0755
Friday, November 7 & Saturday, November 8, at 7 p.m.
Admission: donations at the door