Laura Latreille, Joseph Adams, Judith Lightfoot Clarke and Stephen Caffrey in God of Carnage. Photo by Meghan Moore.
On October 3, Mrs. Ford’s Drama class had the opportunity to go to see the Tony-award winning play, God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell. Charles Towers, the Artistic Director of the MRT describes Reza as “a master of metaphor; a social critic who uses domestic comedy to illuminate the darker sides of human relations.” God of Carnage is a comedy about the aftermath of a playground scuffle between two 11-year-old boys, which ends with one boy hitting the other with a stick, knocking out two teeth. To open the play, the lights come up on the parents of the two boys in a living room, in the middle of a discussion of the incident. As the play continues, their civil, genteel discussion quickly devolves into juvenile name-calling, shouting matches, and slap fights between the two sets of parents as well as within each couple. The production was well-received by the audience who laughed, cheered and clapped throughout the show.
The matinee was performed specifically for students, and after the play, the audience was allowed to stay for a Q&A session with the MRT’s Company Manager as well as the four actors in the production. All four actors–Broadway veteran Joseph Adams (as Alan Raleigh) Shakespearean-trained Stephen Caffrey (as Michael Novack), MRT favorite Judith Lightfoot Clarke (as Veronica Novack), and Elliot Norton Award Winner (Outstanding Actress) Laura Latreille (as Annette Raleigh) were happy to discuss their theatrical backgrounds, their motivation for pursuing acting, the choices they made when crafting their God of Carnage characters, and how they kept themselves from laughing at the other actors’ hilarious moments.
The BHS students throughly enjoyed the performance, though junior Michael Singh did report that he preferred Red, by John Logan, which was last year’s Drama field trip. Michael favored the emotional punch of Red, but still enjoyed this show. The other Honors Drama student, senior Lenny Thelusma, stated that he liked both Red and God of Carnage, but that this year’s play held the edge for him, due to the comedy. Tommy Bezreh, junior, enjoyed the show, and commented on how he noticed that the power shifted from character to character as new “alliances” were formed while the couples argued. Senior Jordan Mathieson enjoyed watching the roller-coaster of emotions each character experienced during the course of the show. the Emma Saltsman, sophomore, expressed her joy in getting to see live theatre: “I would go back and see it over again, immediately.” Senior Keith Walker echoed her sentiments: “I forget how much I like live theatre until I get to see a show.”