This year’s fall play, A Separate Peace, was performed from October 23 to October 25. Based on the classic tale written by John Knowles, the play’s theme of friendship between two private school boys felt especially relevant to BL students. On top of that, it was both Seniors Teddy Roebuck’s and Ely Shilling’s first time directing a school play.
Shilling and Roebuck put a lot of work into the production, and they were excited for its official release last week. Both of them put in countless hours of organizing, creating, and making the show a reality at BL. From blocking the movement of the characters to putting costumes together and figuring out the lighting and set design, their collaborative efforts proved to be both daunting and exciting at the same time.
“It was kind of stressful, but it’s definitely been fun.” said Senior Ely Shilling.
According to the directors, the play has the kind of atmosphere that can completely submerge an audience, without the audience necessarily knowing what the play is about.
“The audience should be able to enter the world of the play and understand what’s going on through the characters eyes, not just from seeing it,” said Roebuck.
The play focused on two high-school boys just as America enters the devastation that was World War II. Both boys are on the verge of both war and adulthood throughout the play. Gene Forrester, portrayed by Sophomore Jonathan Elliott, is both a careful and studious young man, full of fear of the future. Gene ends up attending summer school at Devon in New England just as the war begins. While there, he meets the exceptional athlete and consummate charmer Finny, portrayed by Sophomore Vinny Arthur. Finny’s love for life defies the reality of the draft boards and battleships, and challenges the adult world head-on. The two boys quickly become friends. During the play’s one hour run time, the audience gets to experience a vibrant friendship blossom into fruition amongst the anxiety associated with the year 1942.
For their first time collaborating, Upper School Theatre Arts Director Gina Molling said Shilling and Roebuck complemented each other well.
“Their working relationship was one that was very collaborative. They worked and played off of one another very well,” she said. “Most importantly, they filled in each others weaknesses. If one was weak in one particular area, the other was able to fill that in and show his strength.”