The Dining Room
By Stephanie Farmer
Edmonds Woodway’s very own Play Production put on The Dining Room. A play by A.R. Gurney which displays a timeline of the 20th century in America shown through the most useless yet admired and respected room in the house: the dining room.
Before the curtain parts, Mr. Mindt- the enthusiastic drama teacher here at Edmonds Woodway- says a few words about the play. Of course he begins with the uniform thank yous to his wife, students, and their families. Following this, Mindt gave a brief description of the play saying, “tonight you will see this room through many different vignettes … You will also see the kids playing many characters but, the only constant and main character is the dining room, itself.”
Then, the curtain parted and the students delivered an amazing performance. Each word had heart behind it, and the students did an excellent job of engulfing the audience in the scene. The strong comedic elements sat in stark contrast to the tragic moments of melancholy. Each student remained in character and delivered their lines to near perfection. Many of the students did an excellent job of reflecting the character and time period through their tones and movements. Every subtle details perfectly added to their character which each of the students were casted in excellently.
Certain actors, of course, go above and beyond. The seniors of the group, specifically Neo King and Mckenzie Castillo, are all the backbone of this club. Each of them brought the play to life and did not just present lines, but became their characters. These upperclassmen set an amazing example to the up and coming play pro stars. Remember their names for each of them has a bright future long after high school.
While the acting was amazing, the canvas they built upon was outstanding. By this I mean the costume, sets and lighting. With the entire play being centered around one room the set design team did an outstanding job. There was no problem with seeing straight into the wings, even while sitting in the front row. The clever set design did not allow for any of the classic set mistakes; such as, doors not opening parts not moving or following over (which may or may not have almost occurred during Hairspray). Finally the lighting was excellent, darkening in the more serious scenes and brightening during the lighter moments to reflect the mood. Acknowledging the behind the scenes crew is important, especially because they did such an outstanding job.
All of these things add up to an incredible performance; however, there is always something that the group can improve. At Edmonds Woodway a lot of funding goes to many other areas therefore, our theater does not have access to microphones and other important audio items. The students are aware of this and should learn to project their voices. A play is hard to enjoy when you can not understand the most important part: the words. In addition to this, while I believe the overlapping of the scenes was intriguing it was a bit of a distraction when something much louder than the people speaking occurred in the background. I do appreciate each student’s effort to project but I recommend sitting towards the front at the next Woodway play. These problems are fairly out of the student’s control and their excellent acting for people their age made up for it easily.
In conclusion, The Edmonds Woodway Play Production created an excellent and creative environment that brought the viewers into this luxurious, dramatic and occasionally hilarious moments of the classic American dining room. I personally, am very excited to see what the students will put together next and I hope you are too. Congratulations Play Pro you all did excellent!