From flashlights and darkness, to human traffickers masquerading as cab drivers, to human-eating psychopath butchers, anyone who has been able to sneak a glance of this year’s Fall play through the doors of Pendleton can attest to its originality in comparison to past Mainstage productions. The main source of this originality and newness to EHS Mainstage is found in our new director, Mr. Bill Patti. Mr. Patti, known for his propensity to direct modern, alternative theater has breathed vitality and edginess into the lungs of the Episcopal theater department. This year’s fall production of Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka has shown that Mainstage can kick-ass in modern plays just as well as we have done with classical Shakespearean theater.
The play follows the story of a teen refugee, played by the amazingly talented Lachlan Warrell, from a foreign war-torn nation, on the search for his mom. Along his journeys, he encounters several people, all from different walks and ways of life. Although, this play is written as a loose adaptation of the Odyssey by Homer, the directing style and superb acting of the cast would have the audience convinced otherwise. I will be the first to admit, that I was a bit skeptical of the play and how it would turn out, especially with the departure of last year’s talented group of Mainstage seniors. But boy was I proven wrong. Scene after scene, I am left feeling goosebumps after witnessing incredible chemistry between scene partners and I am continually fascinated by the intricate use of flashlights and fog machines, which have become characters themselves in this play.
In addition to performing Anon(ymous) for the EHS community on November 9th,10th, and 11th, we will first be traveling to Norfolk to compete in the Virginia Theater Association’s high school state theater competition. As the date for VTAs, October 26th, fast approaches, everyone here at EHS Mainstage, including the actors, theater and technical directors, and technical crew, are all buckling down to sharpen the play in order to make it the best work of theater performed at EHS. I was a member of last year’s cast of the Comedy of Errors, which won 2nd place overall in the entire state at VTAs, and went on to compete at the South East Theater Conference.
As a member of the Errors cast, I had feelings of being a part of something historic, even before we had traveled to Norfolk. The feeling that I thought had come and gone, has been resurrected within me in the presence of this year’s cast of Anon(ymous). The returning veterans along with the new members of Mainstage and VTA first timers have proven to be a force with which to be reckoned. I believe that come October 26th, we will be ready to take on all the gold and glory in the name of the houses Patti and Reid.