Macbeth Welcomes New Generation of Actors
After a sad farewell to some of Packer’s prominent actors including Joelle Wellington (‘16), Jordan Allen (‘16), Jack Fay (‘16), and Samantha Casesa (‘15), the next generation of theater members has stepped up to replace them.
While Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both played by upper classmen, the cast is predominantly freshman. This shift in the theater department comes as no surprise, and returning cast members have been welcoming as freshmen enter into Packer’s theater program.
“I was worried there for a while, that theater would just fall into the hands of no one. But I am so happy to see so many freshman interested in Packer’s theater. I think the freshmen seem like the type people to keep with it, so I think it could be really nice,” says Iva Fehr (‘17).
In this production, Fehr is playing Lady Macbeth, though this is just one of many roles she has taken on throughout her time at Packer. Most recently, she played a stripper and a singer in the spring musical Cabaret.
Mr. Boag, the director and Chair of the Arts Department, also commented on how the dynamic of the production has shifted as a result of the younger cast.
“The energy is a little different, but in terms of what kind of work we do and how we set about doing it, it’s no different at all, really. It’s still trying to get as good a production as we can,” said Mr. Boag.
Reese Kennedy (‘18), who plays Macbeth remarked on some of the troubles of working on Macbeth and then continued to commend the new freshmen talents.
“There’s a difference between talent and work ethic, when it comes to productions. And I think talent is there, and just sometimes work ethic is kind of lacking a little. But I haven’t been surprised [by the level of talent]. There’s some people I’ve never seen before, so I was a little surprised.”
Mr. Boag is optimistic for the future of Packer theater and the talented freshman who are currently finding their feet in the production of Macbeth. He’s often found that having a larger cast is ideal.
“It is really really nice – it’s quite a luxurious state of affairs for me to have this pot of really talented young people,” said Mr. Boag.
Kate Harty (‘20) says that the play is a great theater experience and is proud to be a member of the cast, but sometimes the age difference creates a bit of a divide.
“Freshmen especially, because there are so many of us in the play, tend to stick together in a group during rehearsal. That being said, upperclassmen do tend to be nice to underclassmen, even if we don’t interact very often.”
While Mr. Boag acknowledges the inherent hierarchy in the rigid structure of high school, he always works hard to create a company where each member is equal.
“I try to form companies in which you are an equal member of the company, whether you’re a senior playing Lady Macbeth or a freshman playing a soldier, messenger, and a doctor,” he said.
As the cast works together to put the finishing touches on the show, members continue to utilize the varying levels of experience in show biz.
“Whats lovely is watching the people at the senior end, going out of their way to support people at the beginning of their Upper School career,” said Mr. Boag. “What’s also lovely is watching the people at the beginning actively learning from the people at the top.”
The play is set to run Nov. 3-5.