Molly Lea
Staff Reporter
November 16, 2016

         The aliens are coming-from outer space-and they are landing right here at Atholton!
      Not quite. But Atholton’s fall play Crush, which made its debut November 5, does feature aliens on Earth. And lots of them.
    In Crush, Brandon Gile gives an impeccable performance as Bark, a new boy who joins his school play, Our Town. He is coming off of a stay in the local hospital for mental problems, which already raises a red flag. He befriends a girl named Asher, played convincingly by senior Jennifer Yoo, and learns that she is an alien with 5 invisible bodies-that only Bark can see.
    This play is a new, exciting venture that has not been performed “this side of the Mississippi River”, according to Mr. Rosen, the director, who is also the leader of the Atholton Drama Department.
     The play is performed much like Thornton Wilder’s 1938 hit Our Town. There are few sets, and pantomime is used extensively in place of props.
    “What is also an Our Town connection which is subtler is, the playwright is trying to do, for this moment, for a small town in California something like what Thornton Wilder was trying to do for small towns in New England from a hundred years ago”, said Rosen.
    Mr. Rosen is not the only one that thinks the play is written well.
    “Yeah, it’s genius-it’s genius, the way that it’s written.”, agreed Thomas Finegar, whose character Cole is a lead character, as well as head of carpentry. “There’s a huge twist at the end, which I will not spoil, but it wraps everything together very, very well. It’s funny, it’s tense, it’s got things you couldn’t imagine, is the only thing I can really say.”         

 This play is a new, exciting venture that has not been performed “this side of the Mississippi River”, according to Mr. Rosen, the director, who is also the leader of the Atholton Drama Department.

The play’s special effects are also very innovative. They include sound effects unlike anything Atholton’s ever heard before, strobe lighting effects that, while used sporadically, illuminate the scenes in which they’re used, and, above all, new, innovative makeup effects that are complicated yet essential to the understanding of the play.
    “For all the other actors, it’s pretty much standard show makeup which is usually used for a show, but definitely for the aliens, I’d say there’s a lot more involvement when it comes to the prosthetic masks”, said Zach Garrigus, an actor who played one of the aliens, all of whom must bear the cross of wearing the alien makeup.
     Garrigus also shared the complicated process of the makeup:
    “We each have these separate makeup artist who is working on us. So, there are four different aliens that need makeup, and each one has a different makeup artist who knows how to apply the prosthetics and how to paint them and move them around and things like that.”
    The makeup also caused lots of hard work for the makeup artists.
    “The costumers and makeup people have been working hard for weeks and weeks.” said Mr. Rosen.
    “They’ve had workshops with a professional and, you know, we developed the designs, so they’ve done a lot of work.”
    The cast is small, about 26 people total, which gives Crush the small-town vibe it needs to succeed, yet also filled the stage and made it seem like there were more people. The play never stopped having people on stage, and, took extreme advantage, in a good way, of the acting skills of the cast members.
     The show was jumping on Sunday afternoon. The actors hit their marks, made their lines and actions memorable, and the audience enjoyed every minute of it. The audience laughed at exactly the right moments, and cheered long and loud after it was all over, sealing Crush’s legacy in the Atholton Drama Department for years to come.
    This show marks the 99th production at AHS, and its impressive legacy of shows, according to the Atholton Drama website, ranges from Flowers for Algernon to Stage Door(Mr. Rosen’s first show at AHS) to last year’s stellar production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. And, now, Atholton churns out their first production that is still somewhat new to theater.
      Crush will close on November 12th, after which sets will be disassembled and makeup will be put away, giving way for dance steps to be learned and voices to be tuned in preparation for the spring musical, 13.
     When asked what he envisioned as the future for the Atholton Drama Department, Mr. Rosen’s answer was short, sweet, and succinct:
    “More success.”

Posted by Molly Lea