Fall Play Takes Audiences Around the World

Nikki Golestan

For the fall play this year, the Senior School produced Around the World in 80 days, a script originally based on the novel by Jules Veren. The play follows a rich Englishman named Phileas Fogg who takes a bet to travel around the world, saying he will conclude his trip in exactly eighty days in the very same room of his Reform Club from which he left. Taking only his French servant Passepartout and a single carpetbag each, they set off on a journey that leads them into all sorts of shenanigans, including rescuing a woman who was about to be sacrificed and getting arrested for wearing shoes in a pagoda. In the end, Fogg returns to his Reform Club in time and wins the bet.

The actor who played Passepartout, Ibrahim Khan described being in the play as “Fun because I’m doing it with my friends, and also a chance to build a stronger relationship with people in higher grades.” 

Khan states that one thing he has enjoyed about being an actor in the play is using a lot of different accents. He says that being in the play has put him outside his comfort zone, and has driven him to meet new people and gain more experience in acting. 

A member of the tech crew  has enjoyed working with the play because they “have been able to work with a much smaller group of cast [than in the winter musicals] and have a more customized set.” This crew member also states that “It was very interesting to be working in Gregg Theater as a contrast to Rea Auditorium,” where our musicals take place.  

Khan says, “The cast and crew become a kind family and help each other out when needing to memorize lines and cues.” 

Though it was a fun experience, there was an unexpected turn of events when two days before opening night a cast member broke a wooden gavel while rehearsing one of the scenes. The cast and crew frantically searched for the head of the mallet and tried to reconnect the two pieces. Sadly, they were not able to, but luckily a replacement was found in time. The crew and cast still laughed about this misfortune as they described it to the audience at a talk-back held after the Friday night performance. 

Another actor says “Something difficult about being in the play is long rehearsal hours.” The rehearsals can run anywhere between 3:30-9:00 pm. 

Theater Director Mr. Jackson says that senior Catherine Cable, the assistant director of the play, was crucial throughout the whole process. “She helped brainstorm the show’s concept at the beginning and was constantly a sounding board for me in rehearsals. She also helped with communication to the cast and organization of both props and costumes. She then jumped in backstage during the performances to help actors with quick changes. The audience had no idea that the show ran so smoothly because of Catherine’s tireless efforts.” 

Jackson chose this play because “After reading many scripts, this one had the flexible cast size I was looking for, great acting opportunities, fun, and exciting story, and was acceptable for our entire community.” 

Jackson says, “With three seniors, two sophomores, and four freshmen, this cast took some time to develop trust and begin to fully work together. We started every rehearsal and show with a group warm-up to build this bond, and I think over time they grew to trust and rely on each other, both on stage and off.”  

Jackson states, “The crew members who were in Mr. Bell’s Tech Theater Class (freshmen Aidan, John, & Anthony) helped to build the set over the past month, and it was great to work with them and see their excitement grow as the set got closer to completion.” The set of the play was uniquely designed to incorporate different aspects of the show. The walls of the set were newspaper paper mache showcasing locations of the main characters’ adventures. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Bell incorporated many different antique items from different places as a tribute to the many countries the main character Phileas Fogg traveled too.  

In the end, the production was a major success, and both actors and crew should be proud of the amazing work they created.