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MSJ Theatre: The Show.. that didn't go on

Elizabeth Tracy '22

As many of you know, Mount Saint Joseph’s theatre program is small, but I believe that it’s importance in the lives of participating students is often overlooked. In my opinion, the theatre program is better described as a family, full of compassionate, creative people reaching toward the same goal. In the past, one play was held in the fall, and another in the spring for the annual One Act Festival. More recently, there has been only a fall play, but directors Jessica Audette and Keleigh Leblanc decided that this year instead of a fall production, the show would be in the spring, so that the students could experience a theatre festival for the first time. The show was called “Everyone Gets Eaten by Sharks” by Marshall Pailet, it was hilarious, creative, and very far out of the box. The actors were excited to take this show to their first One Act Festival.

As a Sophomore at MSJ, I was devastated to learn that the event was cancelled, as many other students surely were as all of the events they had worked up to for months, sometimes years, were no longer happening. On March 12th, two days before the scheduled festival date, we were informed that the festival was cancelled, as well as all drama performances until further notice. By the time this decision was made, MSJ and the four other participating schools had finished all of their rehearsals, and were preparing for competition. Our drama program had been rehearsing this show since November. The news that we would not be able to perform a show we had worked so hard on was heart-breaking, but the months we spent molding our show were far from wasted.

What I love about MSJ’s drama program is that regardless of how inexperienced or nervous you are, if you decide you want to try theatre out, you will be welcomed. You will be taken in and taught until you feel comfortable being on that stage with your fellow actors, and even in front of a crowd. Theatre in general is an outlet for so many, and I am incredibly grateful that this experience was not completely taken away from us this year.

The cast of “Everyone Gets Eaten by Sharks” consisted of only 9 actors including myself, Ethan Courcelle, Torynce Hathaway, Devon Bathalon, Chase Weigers, Savannah Perry, Makayla Williams, Ann-Clory Joseph, and Manuel Guyrichy. We were joined by three crew members, Ella Paquin, Werline Simpolin, and Fatima Laurent. All of those involved were fun, creative people. The show highlighted playful banter between forty year old show host Adventure Dan attempting to teach nine year old Sweet Bonnie about the dangers of sharks. As he explained, the actors would perform these different scenes and eventually be eaten by sharks. The victims ranged from singing pirates to shark surgeons and prom couples. The majority of the cast played many roles throughout the show, and we were able to experiment with different ways of portraying characters and events. Our play was a comedy, and we clearly had a lot of fun making each scene as dramatic as possible and working together to achieve that. While our experience was cut short, we were lucky enough to make countless memories and incredible progress as actors throughout our rehearsals. The time I spent working alongside my talented and passionate friends was irreplaceable.

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