The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

MV Drama’s “Neo-Futurists” play takes center stage

The drama department kicks off the year with an interactive fall production
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Lillian Wang
Audience member freshman Beck Poltronetti rejects senior Ananya Nadathur by handing the flower back after her serenade in her self-written play, “Swiftie Serenade.”

Monta Vista’s Drama department held its 2023 fall production, “Neo-Futurists,” on the evenings of Nov. 16 and Nov. 17. In the Black Box, performers captivated audiences with humor and a twinge of sentiment.

The show featured 25 distinct mini-plays and invited audience participation in a nod to the SF Neo-Futurists. The department handed out “menus,” a brochure numbering each of the 25 mini-plays. As the 45-minute timer counted down, the audience could decide which plays from the menu would take center stage and the order in which they were performed by shouting out the number they wished to see at the cue word “curtain.”

The menu featured comedic plays written by Drama students, such as “This is What Happens When You Speak to a Person Who Can Only Respond in Justin Bieber Lyrics,” written by senior Arnav Jadhav, illustrating an interaction with an insufferable Justin Bieber fan, to angsty ones such as “Secrets” written by senior Peter Bayer, in which performers vulnerably spoke out on their insecurities.

“The writing process was very difficult since it was my first time ever trying to write a play,” sophomore Chloe Schiavo, who scripted “Simon Says” and “Doing Stupid Sh*t for Trash,” said. “It was all very different from what our department did before.”

Junior Mihika Sabnis invites audience member junior Maya Pullara to the stage for an inspirational message in her self-written play, “Positivity.” | Photo by Yixuan (Joyce) Li

Aside from playscripting, another principle element of the play was audience interaction. The play being interactive makes its structure special, not only because it is a new and refreshing experience for the audience — allowing them to experience the play first-hand and providing them with a sense that they are part of it instead of simply watching it — but also because it is a very different style than the ones the Drama department usually performs, according to Schiavo.

Audience participation was both crucial in selecting from the menu and also as a part of some of the plays, such as when an audience member was brought up to the stage to be serenaded by a pop-star character in “Swiftie Serenade,” written by Ananya Nadathur. According to junior Andre Reveco, who wrote “A List of Things I Hate in Drama,” the audience was very supportive during both of their evening performances.

“The audience did a great job by participating in every scene of every play,” said Reveco. “We loved the encouragement and the effort the audience put in. The energy was 10 out of 10.”

After a successful first play, MV Drama is looking forward to the rest of the year. However, even as the department puts on more new and exciting plays, Schiavo says something that will never change is their excitement.

“Before the play, when we all have pre-show jitters, seeing the audience start to flow in is just the best feeling ever,” Schiavo said. “Having everybody actually come to the play that we have worked so hard on for these three weeks was very rewarding.”

 

About the Contributor
Yixuan (Joyce) Li, Staff Writer
Joyce is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. When she's not busy meeting deadlines or looking up cat breeds she's less likely to be allergic to, she enjoys playing her violin, listening to music, and writing.
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