CHARTER ARTS NEWS-Fall season closes-By Zoe Lachter
October at Charter Arts opened with a welcome chill in the air, the leaves putting on their new orange looks, and the looming excitement of fall performances to come. Students switched out their T-shirts for sweaters just as school started really picking up pace. With the marking period reaching its midpoint and college application deadlines following not so far behind, students found some peace in the first showings of projects, a new art exhibition, and a build-up to the school’s favorite holiday, Halloween.
For the first time in the school’s history, the month opened with a day off for the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. This gave students a quick break before the First Friday performances. These included the Literary Arts showcase at The Lodge Cafe, the Vocalist Cafe, and the art exhibit entitled “Gathering Elements” featuring the work of professional artists Katharine Krieg and Bradley Hendershot. All were a great success, showcasing the amazing talent of students and teachers alike.
The month also held the first major theatrical performance of the year. This year, the theater department presented MAC BETH by Erica Schmidt, adapted from Macbeth by William Shakespeare. In Erica Schmidt’s distinctive version of this oldtime tale, seven rebellious teenage school girls gather at an abandoned lot, where the original plot begins to unfold, blurring the lines between stories of war and teenage social tensions. The all-female characters also upend the originally male-dominated cast, bringing a new dynamic to the story and alternate undertones of modern feminism.
The lead role of Macbeth was portrayed passionately by J. Freedman, a senior theater major.
“Portraying the title role in Macbeth was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Freedman. “I have never been a part of a stronger ensemble. We were able to deliver such a powerful message, and performance at that.”
One of the particularly appealing parts of the show was the relatability of these characters that can feel so distant from our lives as high schoolers. As Freedman explains, this play shows us that “we all have a little Banquo, a little Macduff, even a little Lady M. in us.” Perhaps Christopher Cantelimi, director of MAC BETH and artistic director of the Charter Arts Theatre Department, put it best, “I believe we told a story that was relevant, resonant and timely. Our production was unique. Shakespeare’s work is not typically known for its reckless teenage abandon, yet that is exactly what we found.”
Without missing a beat, just as MAC BETH came to a close, Spirit Week started with a bang. The student council planned especially creative themes for each day of Spirit Week. Monday was Adam Sandler Day; Tuesday, Soccer Moms versus Barbecue Dads Day; Wednesday. Decades Day; Thursday, Disney Channel Original Movie Day; and Friday, the long-awaited Halloween parade, to which everyone wore their Halloween costumes.
Our annual costume contest awarded this year’s winners in scariest, funniest, best group, most creative and best overall costume. Everyone looked amazing, with many intricate, hand-made costumes making their way through the halls. Art schools certainly know how to do Halloween right.
This time of year is always a special one for Charter Arts. It’s a season full of opportunities for students to showcase their talents, as well as delight in the talent of their peers. As the season comes to a close, we reminisce on our achievements so far and look forward to the showcases ahead like Dance Soup. It’s the perfect way to get back into the school year, have fun with our school community, and get creativity flowing again.