The Stage Lights Up for a New Year at Salesianum School Theater

Braedon Carney '20, Contributor

Greek gods, screaming fans, and The Simpsons, oh my! Last May, Mr. Bogad unveiled three new shows coming to the main stage in the Spragg Auditorium. Each show is centered around the theme of the creation, preservation, and remembrance of Mythology. The three main stage productions this year are Metamorphoses, The Who’s Tommy, and Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play. There’s also a special completely student produced and directed show! Led by Quinn Murphy and his production team, Habitat will also be performed towards the end of the season.

Metamorphoses is a set of vignettes from Greek and Roman Mythology —most, if not all of which are meant to teach a lesson of some sort. It will feature an indoor pool as the space for the scenes! Metamorphoses shows us how all of our Mythology came to be. It also provides many examples of growth and learning that many of us can learn from. Padua Junior Audrey Embley, who is currently working on her 7th show at SST said that Metamorphoses helps her remember to “allow space for change and self development, while always staying true to myself and what I believe in.”

The Who’s Tommy is the big musical this year at SST. Based off of The Who’s popular rock album, this show is going to blow away the audience with talent and noise! Those involved in SST cannot wait to let loose with their rock voices and truly embrace the chaos of the show. The Salesianum community will be able to find something they love and would want to hear over and over again. Jake Collins ‘18, a recent SST Alumni said, “I’m super jealous that I will not get to perform in The Who’s Tommy. That’s a type of show that performers dream to be in. Rocking out on stage is fun for both the actors and the audience. The Who wrote amazing music for [the show], and the choreography is going to be amazing. I have no doubt the company will be killing it!” Jake was right. A show like this is a great time for anyone who gets to experience it.

The final main stage production this year is Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play is set in a world without any electricity. This show is extremely important for all to see. Director of SST and Director of the Arts at Salesianum, Mr. Bogad told me, “I think [the show] presents a really interesting and compelling idea… The transition of something from pop-culture to being more serious, and overtime becoming the driving source of culture is really fascinating.” He makes a great point. The show will really make its audience think. According to Mr. Bogad, The New York Times listed Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play as one of the Top Ten Most Important Plays Since 1995. It must be really special to attain that achievement.

Habitat, written by Judith Thompson, is a wonderful commentary on the rich versus the poor. SST’s production of Habitat is being wholly run by students here at Salesianum, as well as Padua and Ursuline. A team headed by Quinn Murphy ’19, who is joined also by Aidan O’Neill ’19, Tony Denney ’19, Ellen Schlect from Ursuline, and Audrey Embley from Padua, has so many ideas for making this show a masterpiece. (Quote from Quinn about why he chose this show). Senior Aidan O’Neill, who has mainly been a performer, is elated to be stage managing for the first time saying, “The whole team is really excited to put on our own show from top to bottom, and especially to do it with such a powerful and relevant story.” Quinn Murphy gave me a wonderful response about why he picked the show saying, “I had a lot of trouble finding shows that conveyed the meaning I wanted. I randomly came across Habitat on the Internet, and decided to read it. I read it the first time and knew it was the show I wanted to do. Habitat is a show that revolves around a group home moving into an affluent neighborhood. The residents of the neighborhood, despite being supportive at first, show that they do not want the group home in the neighborhood, and tries to remove the group home over completely unfounded reasons. I found the message really profound, and one that an affluent community, like the Salesianum community, needs to hear.” This will be a great learning and growing process for all involved, which is one of the main goals of SST.

Salesianum School Theater is the perfect place for both students and audiences to discover what makes them who they are, and these shows have proven time and time again that this statement holds true. In the words of Mr. Burns this upcoming season will be… “Excellent.”