The monsters are due on 4000 W Lake Ave


Sofia Oyarzun

Adapting actors: South actors, Hannah “Han” Schuberth and Roey Danino (from left to right) persevere through Covid-19 regulations.

Abby McKew, Staff Writer

The show must go on – even if it means having to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic. 

This year’s spring play, performed on May 7 in the courtyard, was an episode of The Twilight Zone, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, which depicts a sleepy town that becomes plagued by paranoia that aliens are taking over their town . 

English teacher John Cowlin, this year’s sponsor of the spring play, stated that the play was very different from previous years. The spring play was originally going to be performed in the winter, however it was cancelled due to the pandemic, Cowlin explained. Cowlin pointed out that students wearing masks and distancing from each other while performing makes it a much more challenging experience. 

“It’s harder for the students with masks on to emote,” Cowlin said. “You have three tools when you are acting: your body, your face and your voice. The mask muffles the voice and obscures the face, so it’s harder to act when wearing a mask.”

This is the third year that Cowlin is directing a school play and there are many reasons why he enjoys directing them, he said. 

“I get a chance to know the kids in a different way than in the classroom and it’s a nice piece of collaborative creativity,” Cowlin said.

While there were many obstacles in putting the play together, freshman Gabriel Blumenfeld, who played Les Goodman, the first neighbor accused of being an alien, saw it as an opportunity to create a unique experience for the audience and the performers. One aspect of the play that Blumenfeld found interesting is that it was performed outside in the courtyard.

“[Performing outside] opened it up to a much more three dimensional play,” Blumenfeld explained. “The audience [was] all around us so we [needed] to make sure that from wherever we [were] being watched from the play [made] sense.”

Sophomore Julia Bundy, who played standard 1960s housewife Mrs. Brand, has participated in school plays since the beginning of her freshman year, she said. After participating in both normal school plays and an outside, socially distanced play, she also believed that the outside play was a refreshing change. 

It has been a challenge making the show work for [an outside] location,” Bundy said. “It’s definitely different than what I’m used to but I think it’s a really cool idea to do it outside.”

Sophomore Hannah “Han” Schuberth, who played the role of Don, the neighbor who points his finger at everyone else, has participated in plays since before high school. One of Schubert’s favorite experiences on set was a tradition that she carried on from one of her middle school plays that she calls an “over the top rehearsal”, she said. 

[During an over the top rehearsal], everyone has super high energy and you can experiment and try different things and see what you want to keep,” Schuberth said. “That was really fun because some of my fellow performers did humorous additions to the play and it was an opportunity to be silly and try something new.”

For Schuberth, acting allows them to meet new people and help bring a fictional world to life, they explained. While this play has many interesting characteristics, Schuberth’s favorite part is that the lesson of the play can be relevant throughout all time periods. 

“[The play] makes the audience think about human nature and what people can resort to when they’re scared,” Schuberth said. “It can be parallel to a lot of different things in history.”