Will They, Won’t They: Students return to the theatre after Covid

Eleanor Peterson

Students run back and forth in colorful Regency-era dresses and garb. Props and stage pieces are run across the stage. This group of student actors are in a frenzy as they prepare for the first in-person play after pandemic school closures that caused upheaval in the performing arts.

     This year’s cast is putting on an updated version of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Sense and Sensibility,” which tells the story of the Dashwood sisters and their trials and tribulations in the world of love. 

     “It’s kind of like a Regency-era romantic comedy,” drama teacher and director Cate Caffarella said. “This couple Elinor and Edward meet at the beginning of the play and, for whatever reason, they don’t wind up getting together in your typical romantic comedy thing.”

     As a fan of Jane Austen, Caffarella chose this play because it was something new that she hadn’t done before. She was also particularly excited about the costumes. “It’s really fun to see kids dressed up in these really cool time period costumes,” Caffarella said.

     The costumes aren’t the only thing that people should be excited for. “[It’s got] a lot of dramatic acting,” sophomore Olivia Kottre, who plays Marianne Dashwood, said. “A lot of plot twists that you never saw coming.”

     Student actors are excited to be back in the theatre, as almost two years ago the drama department was hit hard with the cancellation of “Mary Poppins.” Last year, they tried again with an online production of “Charlie Brown,” but this year they are finally able to meet together in the brand new auditorium. 

     “I’m just excited about giving the students the opportunity to return to theatre,” Caffarella said, “to be able to work together to create something. We always start as completely separate people and by the end of our eight weeks together, we’ve really come together to create something unique and special.”