By Peace Eshun and Kate Wand
In April this year, Grade 11 Diploma Program Theatre students performed one of the first live theatre performances since March 2020. The showcase, titled SIX MONOLOGUES IN SEARCH OF AN AUDIENCE (a nod to the play SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR) featured monologues written by various playwrights including William Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND. Mirroring the IB DP assessment guidelines, students were tasked to research, select, and perform monologues from these published playwrights for a maximum duration of 5 minutes per performer. The result was a show featuring humorous, love-struck, poignant, and socially relevant characters.
Gypsy F. Monologue titled “Home of the Great Pecan"
The four-show run reflected a return to live theatre and community gatherings since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The extent to which students could develop theatre skills sets was greatly limited even after the return to campus in March 2021 especially through the absence of a working collaborative studio space. Nose masks and social distancing mitigated the spread of Covid-19 in our community, however they brought challenges and limitations to actor training and collaboration in Theatre courses. Masks impaired students’ ability to adequately train their voices for the stage, as social distancing stifled ensemble and paired scenework. Students met these challenges with compassion, care, and adaptability.
Noah G. Monologue Titled “ Laughing Wildly” by Christopher Durang
Performers were individually unmasked during their monologue whilst all others (audience and non-performing Grade 11 students) remained masked. The Grade 11 ensemble made the effort to support one another’s performances. With the training of LCS’s IT Team, students designed and ran all aspects of the show (including stage crew, props, lighting and sound design). The audience included peers, families, friends, teachers and LCS staff.
Ibrahima D. Monologue Titled “The Race Monologues” by Bard College
African-American author, Toni Morrison, shared that in times of transition and difficulty: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal." SIX MONOLOGUES IN SEARCH OF AN AUDIENCE gave us hope. It demonstrated that families, teachers and students can once again come together, share in the joy of the collaboration, and, nkakra nkakra (little by little), we can embody Morrison’s vision of healing.
Agyapong A. Monologue Title “ Fat Pig” by Neil Labute
Christopher R. Monologue Titled “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare
Korede O. Monologue Titled “Notes From the Underground” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.