David and Lisa (2016)

It’s odd to now look back on all four of my high school one act experiences. Each one marks an important time in my life, from transitioning into high school, to learning where my place is in the theatre world, to making it through an extremely difficult year, to finally finding myself in a good place with a future I’m excited about ahead of me. David and Lisa was by far my favorite show and one close to my heart. At first I worried about not connecting with the cast, but after a few rehearsals they and director Neal Gage were accepting my ideas and I felt like I had caught on to what the show centered around. The story is mainly about healing and follows the relationship between boarding school mental patients David Clemens (portrayed by junior Jack Smith) and Lisa (portrayed by senior Rebecca Wagner). Unlike shows Vandegrift has done in the past, we decided to put a modern twist on a tale that is classically strictly presented as though in the 1960’s. The set ended up being minimal, in the shape of a clock to solidify David’s obsession with them, and all the actors remained on stage almost the entire show to add chorus like effects. We added in a bunch of metaphorical actions, such as David refusing to look at people or let them into his “bubble” (the platforms center stage) until he learned to trust them. This show was also the first I felt confident running. We practiced so many times that it became routine, with us constantly performing in a way that the directors saw as competition ready, and with every note slowly becoming more and more nitpicky as we fixed larger issues. On competition day the cast, crew and I weren’t nervous, but confident in the wonderful show we had put together and worked hard to perfect. We performed the show just as we had rehearsed it and received numerous compliments, yet we did not advance. It was at this point, I understood that the reason theatre isn’t judged often is because there is no definite way to say what production is better over another, because one person may connect with a show in a way that other people simply cannot. All I know is that we all definitely connected with this show and that is all that matters. David and Lisa was definitely the perfect way for me to wave goodbye to a wonderful four years spent in the theatre department.

Junior Jack Smith and senior Rebecca Wagner's faces are showcased in the David and Lisa poster.
Neal Gage
Junior Jack Smith and senior Rebecca Wagner’s faces are showcased in the David and Lisa poster.

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