HS Play: Twelfth Night

Written by: Sophie

Edited by: Nichelle

Visual by: Macy 

Before the break ISM’s Fine and Performing Arts Department performed their annual High School Play for students, faculty and parents to watch. Because of COVID-19 last year’s HS play “Ride the Sky” was filmed on zoom. This year however, despite being online during the production of this year’s High School play, the cast has been worked hard to produce the musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy Twelfth Night, filmed “movie style”. Shakespeare was an English playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He wrote this romantic comedy around 1601-1602 as entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. ISM’s adaption of the play is about Viola, played by Luna, the victim of a shipwreck in Illyria after setting out to search for her twin brother Sebastian, played by Jordano. She disguises herself as a charming young man, Cesario, to work and survive until she finds her brother. Dressed as someone else, she starts to understand a lot more about herself, her life, and a common theme in Shakespearean comedy, love. 

One ISM student says, “I used to go to the HS plays pre-pandemic and they were always really good! I know they [the cast] put a lot of effort into this year’s play.” During past years, the HS play would be held as a live performance in the Fine Arts Theater, however due to COVID-19, the Fine Arts and Performing Department had to adapt and create a pre-recorded “movie-like” play instead. One cast member says, “We didn’t follow the exact story line of the play, but I think it is more entertaining and really good. I recommend it to everyone!” 

As Shakespeare’s complex language makes it harder for modern viewers to understand today, the script has been adjusted so that it is easier to understand and enjoy. Other than filming the play and acting out scenes, cast members were able to form new friendships and bonds. Jordano, a cast member from 9th grade, says, “being a part of the HS play was a great experience. I was able to meet a lot of the upperclassmen, and everyone was so kind and made everyone feel super comfortable.” Manu, a cast member also mentions, “It was definitely a surreal experience, despite the distance-learning circumstances. As I am a new student, the HS Play provided me my first ever avenue to express myself at ISM. I met people who shared the same interests as I did, and wonderful seniors who have given me helpful advice.” As COVID-19 limited in-person extracurriculars at school, students haven’t been able to interact with peers from other grades and meet new people; however, as Jordano says, “we had a great time and ended up creating a lot of friendships. It really felt like one big happy family by the end of the play.”

Audience members were able to watch the play as a live audience in the FAT. “Although it was a long, and sometimes tiresome process,” Manu says, “with recording, and recording, then recording again shots that I deemed imperfect, I am so happy the play was finally released! Obviously, I really wish the play was done live in front of actual people but hopefully next year’s play will be just like the old days!” A HS student who watched the play in-person said, “I really enjoyed being able to watch the play in the FAT like old times. Although it wasn’t performed live, the cinematography was really well done. It looked like a real movie!”