Student Voice of Denver South High School

1984 Play Review

December 6, 2017

1984. What can be said about the South High School fall production of 1984? This play in itself is a success portraying the extent of South High’s wonderfully talented students and teachers in a creative environment. The actors delivered a particularly outstanding performance when age and experience is taken into account. Cory Sapienza made us feel the same pain that the main character, Winston Smith, felt. The audience adored the performance of Kali Lott who played Julia, as well as Colleen Campbell who delivered a compelling performance as Parsons. The performance of Bianca Rinaldi brought fear and intimidation to the stage as O’Brien. These actors did an excellent job, followed by Ms. Rinaldi in her creative guidance. 1984 captivates you from beginning to end, bringing forth a roller coaster of emotions for everyone in the crowd watching.

1984 is set in a Oceania, a fictional place in which the world has limited the free speech and thought of citizens. Telescreens (devices similar to televisions) are placed everywhere — from a person’s home, to their cubicle at work, from the cafeteria where they eat, to even the streets. Every person’s move is watched. No place is safe from Big Brother, the ominous figure portrayed by telescreens to enforce fear in the hearts of all, and bring a sense of hope in rivaling the rebels that betray them. Throughout the play we see Winston Smith (played by actor Cory Sapienza), who is determined to remain human under inhuman circumstances. In trying to make sense of his life were he doesn’t see meaning, he meets Julia (played by actress Kali Lott) – a new young coworker taking the cubicle next to his. Julia confesses her love for Winston, despite her knowledge that such feelings are punishable. Winston sees an opportunity to have a life like he remembers in his childhood – a life lived as the past that he’d hoped for. They adopt a disregard for the rules that Big Brother (played by teacher John Teas) implied. Rules prohibited were included in categories: Thought Crime: the expression or thought of commiting an unethical free thought, and Face Crime: where facial expressions or the materialization of one’s crime is presented. However, with Julia and Winston, their love and their curiosity lead them to lead a live without these rules, where they were careful yet loving. With a move to a new apartment where they had no telescreen, things seemed to be looking up for the couple.

The lovers soon confess to a friend of Julia’s – their superior O’Brien, who helps them get married and keeps their secret. After their discovery that O’Brien actively works with the rebels who oppose Big Brother and the Party, the Brotherhood, Winston’s interest and liking for O’Brien peaks. O’Brien soon gives Winston the manifesto of the Brotherhood, but tells him she expects it back.

Soon, it is found out that O’Brien was working for the Party the whole time, and a telescreen was placed behind a picture in Julia and Winston’s home. This leads to their capture and torture in order to revert them back to their slave like state in which they questioned nothing and praised the Party. Winston sees both of his coworkers Syme (Noah Steele) and Parsons (Colleen Campbell), also captured after reports from their peers of Thought Crime. O’Brien spends the next few months torturing Winston in order to manipulate his way of thinking – to employ the concept of doublethink where two plus two equals five, and what is, isn’t. After extensive torture and the presentation of Winston’s worst fear – rats – he accepts Big Brother and begs O’Brien to torture Julia instead. An unsatisfying ending, but this final act is exactly what was needed to wrap up this dramatic play.

Each member of stage crew did a wonderful job. Lights were shone for dramatic effect, backdrops were painted to represent and portray the environment, sound effects were perfectly timed, bringing everything together to create an environment in which the actors thrived. There were a few technical issues regarding the projection of Big Brother where a notice popped up, exiting the screen from the face of fear to an update alert. This was also accompanied by a minor problem with the microphone were it went out for a few moments during the performance of Magnolia Mulqueen. However, these issues were quickly resolved and the play pressed on without fail, furthermore showing the extent of the determination and problem-solving attitude that all of these students adopt.

From the hopeful beginning to the dark ending, the audience was captivated by 1984 and all of the wonderfully talented and driven students who took part in the production. The staff of the Gargoyle gives our applause to 1984.

 

                                                                   Director

                                                             Jennifer Rinaldi

 

                                                          Technical Director

                                                                  Rich Cold

                                                                                       
                                                           Assistant Director

                                                               Matthew Craig

                                                           

                                                             Stage Managers

                                                    Abby Culhane & Lucia Heese

 

                                                                 Stage Crew

                                                   

Lighting Design………………………………………………………………………Evan Kuehr

Light Board…………………………………………………………Evan Kuehr & Quinn Yates

Sound Board………………………………………………..…..Jerod Fink & Jenny Gutierrez

Running Crew………………………….…………….……………………..Riley ramsay, Nicole Resendiz, Zachary Franklin, Emely Hull, Marisol Guttierez, Lisa Nguyen, Hibba Haghegh, Mia McCoy, Aaron Caine

Set Construction……………………………………………………..Riley Ramsay, Nicole Resendiz, Zachary Franklin, Emily Hull, Marisol Guttierez, Lisa Nguyen, Hibba Haghegh, Mia McCoy, Aaron Caine, Leila Parker, Evan Kuehr, Quinn Yated,  Jerod Fink, Ty’esha Pickrom-Barnes, Beyonce Barrett, Jenny Gutierrez, Rowan Livengood, Chava Baldivia, Tonetra Lighthall, Sierra Still Baker, Bailey Amerson

Spotlight,………………………………………………………………………………………………………Leila Parker

Promotional Art…………………………………………………………..……………..Kali Lott

 

                                                                      Cast

Winston Smith…………………………………………………………………….Cory Sapienza

Julia………………………………………………………………………………………Kalit Lott

O’Brien…………………………………………………………………………….Bianca Rinaldi

Loudspeaker Voice…………………………………………………………..……Deja Ellerbee

Syme…………………………………………………………………………………Noah Steele

Parsons………………………………………………………………………..Colleen Campbell

Landlady…………………………………………………………………………….Rose Moskal

Martin………………………………………………..………………………..Florentino Aguilera

Big Brother……………………………………………………………………………..John Teas

Goldstein……………………………………………………………………….…..Maya Palmer

Gladys…………………………………………………………………………….Taylor Johnson

Messenger………………………………………………………………….Magnolia Mulqueen

Coffee Vendor…………………………………………………………..……………Mia Kopera

Waitress……………………………………………………………………………….Mary Keang

Guards: Becca Nichols, Ace Maez, Causan Douglas

Workers: Chayan Brown, Sofia Garcia, Mary Keang, Mia Kopera, Magnolia Mulqueen, Clare Padrick, Maya Palmar, Annie Welch

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