Written by Anjel Lyman, Class of 2014
The Lakeland High School Theatre Department has been hard at work to bring famed playwright Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Setzuan to its stage as this year’s fall play.
This play tells the story of Shen Te, a good woman surrounded by bad people in the small town of Setzuan. Her good deeds often leave her without money, and she soon finds herself immersed in a plan that involves sacrificing her good deeds at certain times.
To do this, she disguises herself as her business-minded male cousin. Instead, part of her becomes a person who is harsh and has almost no sympathy toward anyone. Expectations of Shen Te are very high, and the question remains: Will she actually be rewarded by the gods who are determined to name her the good person of Setzuan, or will her scheme end up being her downfall?
When asked to describe the play, cast member Alayna Patten says: “The story is dramatic, interesting, and even funny at times! It’s worth seeing!”
It is a play that keeps audience members on the edge of their seats until the very dramatic end, which cast member Isabella Busby-Priest adds, “You’ll have to come see it to find out what happens.” As one of the actresses, trust me when I say it really leaves you thinking.
The cast consists of 23 students from both Lakeland and the International Academy West. All of these students have been hard at work beginning in early September, preparing for a show that will keep the audience intrigued until the very end.
The students have created a strong bond not just with each other, but the characters as well. The director and Lakeland teacher, Ms. Miller, says of these students: “I am very proud of them, there is quite a difference in this show’s style than the ones they have preformed in the past, and they are doing a great job at bringing the show and characters to life.”
Eleven students make up the play’s crew, some of whom are also actors. Ms. Miller also adds; “It is really exciting, because some of these positions are brand new at Lakeland, but they took them on without difficulty.” The cast and crew is happy to welcome back Student Director Alexa Ellish, who has had a great deal to do with the blocking throughout and the strengthening of the characters.
This year’s season is “Goodness” and focuses on character. Sometimes it seems difficult to maintain goodness in the world we live in - where social, economic, and political factors impact our decisions in ways we don't easily have control over. Some of our guiding questions include: How can we take care of others and protect our own interests? At what point should self-preservation overcome a desire to help others? What does it even mean to be "good"?
Tickets are currently on sale at http://www.lhsperformingarts.com/ on the home page. Presale tickets online cost $8, and they will also be sold at the door for $10. Show dates and times are November 8th and 9th at 7 p.m.