On May 15, 16, and 18, the Miramonte Players performed an original play titled “THENOW.” The goal of the play was to compare and contrast technology in the past with technology today. The play focused on the evolving role of technology, with an emphasis on the places in our society where we have not yet fully transitioned (for example, switching from day planners to iPhone calendars…). The stage was divided into two parts, the left side being “Then” and the right side being “Now,” with the middle dedicated to “transitioning places.”
“THENOW” was the final production for Miramonte’s graduating seniors, but many of the younger Advanced Drama students participated. The play had an ensemble-heavy cast, with just about equal stage time for each actor. However, the actors that especially stood out were seniors Beverly Worth, Sophia Diamantidis, Lindsay Ford, and Patrick Hart, and juniors Gaelen Faulkner and Ryan Coletta.
One of the reasons the Miramonte Players decided to do an original work instead of an already printed play or musical was for budget reasons, according to senior Isabelle Hechinger.
“A lot of people don’t realize how expensive it is to use a published work,” said Hechinger. “Using a play written by us saves a lot of money and is a lot more friendly on the budget.”
The entire play was written by the Miramonte Players, with each scene written by different cast members. Together the scenes morphed into one play, separated into story arcs based on the specific invention.
Each arc focused on a situation that the invention would be used in, contrasting the use of the invention then (for example, using a compass) to how it’s used now (a compass app on an iPhone). One section of the play developed the relationship between a boss and his secretary. This section put an emphasis on the sexualization of secretaries, despite being acted out by high school students. Even when the development of the secretary worked up to Siri, the personalized artificial intelligence “secretary” on the iPhone, it still resulted in sexual tension between a boss and his secretary.
The play involved many actors, but it also had a heavy reliance on the Tech Crew. The play had very few sets and props, so the majority of the settings wereprovided from lights and sounds. The sound designers were able to recreate some of the common noises heard in today’s technology, such as the MacBook startup theme, the iPhone ringtone, and the Facebook messaging beep.
There was, however, some controversy surrounding the play, as some of the Advanced Drama class’s previous main actors opted instead to be a part of the Tech Crew. Some actors wanted to work with the play’s unique sound and lighting effects, instead of acting in “THENOW,” despite it being their final production at Miramonte.
“It was my last Miramonte show, and I just wanted to give it one final hurrah,” said senior Cecily Schmidt. “It was my last opportunity to try tech and I really wanted to.”
Schmidt was the Stage Manager behind “THENOW,” and has been practicing managing other shows at Miramonte, including the ever popular “Performers for Progress.”
Overall, the Miramonte Drama Department considers the play a success.