Marist’s Theater Program Triumphs

An inside look into Marist Theater for its one-of-a-kind season


Photographer: Moira Ujda

Rehearsals continue to take place in small groups and on Google Meet.

By Caroline York, Features Editor

“It’s the best five dollars you’ll ever spend on an evening’s entertainment.”

Everyone at Marist is familiar with Theater Director Eric McNaughton’s catchphrase. Everyone at Marist can also agree that $5 will indeed buy them a delightful night of entertainment.

However, like many other events this year, the pandemic put a question mark on theater. Broadway shows in New York City are cancelled through January 2021, and theaters big and small have had to shut their doors. However, Marist is pushing through these trying times and is continuing with a show in an innovative format.

Christian ’21, Grace ’21, and Clare ’21 rehearse their lines (Moira Ujda)

“The primary concern is the health and safety of all actors and audience members,” said Christian Conte ‘21, a theater cast member. “With large groups strictly against CDC guidelines, the theater team has veered from the typical play format and decided to put on a collection of short five-to-10-minute plays with casts between two to five people.”

The audience will be divided into different groups that will rotate around the arcade and Alumni Plaza to each show during the evening’s performance. 

Because of the small casts, practice is more flexible than ever before. Virtual students still have the opportunity to participate in plays via an online platform. Additionally, hybrid students can practice in-person outdoors and virtually depending on the day and current pandemic circumstances. Each play is double-cast and will perform on the two different nights.

A small group of actors rehearse their staging for the final section of the show.

With so much going on in our world, our fall production is striving to be light-hearted, cheerful, and happy,” said Conte. Actress Caroline Roche ‘21 agreed. “I’m glad [the plays] are all comedies – light and airy – it’s good stress relief in hard times!” said Roche.

Conte’s play, Surprise, features “a character on a date who is also a psychic that can see two minutes into the future…it’s hysterical!” Roche’s play, DMV Tyrant, presents an all-too-familiar yet hilarious scene of frustration at a local DMV.

Two of the other plays, 3 Turkeys and a yet-to-be-named Shakespeare show, will also have light themes bound to make the audience laugh.

Conte believes this new play format “is a reminder that ‘all the world’s a stage,’ whether we are performing in Woodruff or outside.”

This slate of short plays is set to premiere on Thursday, October 22, with a second performance on Saturday, October 24.