Robertson and Hammerstein: St. Luke’s to Stage Original Student Play

“What shouldn’t you do if you’re a young playwright? Don’t bore the audience!” Those words of wisdom from playwright Tennessee Williams, while initially seeming helpful, are upon further examination quite intimidating. The task of writing a production capable of keeping an audience’s attention while expressing your intended ideas is daunting for anyone, let alone a high school student, but leave it to our fearless Editor-in-Chief Alex Robertson to take on the challenge.

Performing in a piece by Sam Posner and Nikita Singh ’12 (during last year’s Spring One Acts) prompted Robertson to pursue writing his own play. The idea was one he had been toying with for a while, since he wrote a “very brief” play at a program he attended over the summer. But the events of this fall helped bolster his resolve.  “I’ve always found the concept of writing a play and having it performed by people I know exciting,” said Robertson in an interview with the Sentinel. The play in question, sporting the recycled title, Twelfth Night, looks to be an artistic masterwork.

Sentinel Editor-in-Chief Alex Robertson ’13 moving on up in the theatre world

Without giving away too many details, the story takes place in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy at a Connecticut house that has suffered a blackout.  Although the play spans the course of nine nights, each scene takes place in the same room. Hmm…do I detect a theme of paralysis (any John Guare enthusiasts)? While that may not be the case, the play certainly was inspired by a number of artistic sources. Robertson drew influences from the plays of Chekhov and Beckett (specifically The Three Sisters and Endgame). Other influential works, says Robertson, were the paintings of Edward Hopper and the short film Rabbits, by David Lynch.

No doubt the task of writing a play was difficult and required both extensive brain- and willpower, but now the time has come for Robertson to surrender his labor of love to the capable hands of the cast and crew of SLS students.

“I don’t necessarily want them to adhere completely to everything I’ve laid out on the page,” said Robertson, “what I find exciting is the possibility of their ‘creatively misreading’ my play and shaping it into something of their own.”

Alex Robertson’s Twelfth Night – together with several other one-act plays- will be performed by St. Luke’s Upper Schoolers as the official spring production in early May.

— Melanie Bow, School News Editor

Posted by on April 3, 2013. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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