By Dahlia Docrat Editor-in-Chief The Pawprint
“It was a good wake up call,” said Senior Amina Abdelilah. On 26 September the IB Drama students performed David Campton’s Cagebirds during a surprise and well-received assembly. Touching upon themes of brutality, standing up and the importance of non-conformity, it was relevant and a true eye-opener. The brilliant acting was an interesting twist on traditional assemblies that consist mostly of announcements.
The entire play was directed, performed and produced solely by students, and the result was remarkable. Among the stars were Student Director Apoorva Gupta, Assistant Student Director Amina Abdelilah, as well as actors Haylee Adler, Sarah Daud, Cedric Ecran, Luke Coutts, Caroline Comenho and the unforgettable Megan Sheil. The play displayed the limitations students tend to place on themselves and others due to stereotyping. The play featured birds that represented humans. There was the Twitting (Abdelilah), the Gossip (Comenho), the Gazer (Adler), the Gloom (Coutts), the Guzzle (Daud) and the Thump (Ecran) who are all trapped inside a cage with an evil but indifferent mistress (Gupta) that holds the key. However, the play truly begins when the Wild One (Sheil) is introduced; she is the first of the group to take notice of the unjustness of confinement, and the first to seek a way out. It was almost reminiscent of the classic Hughes film, The Breakfast Club.
Each actor embodied their character, from the twitches of their heads to their convincing facial expressions. A standout performance was met with laughter and even a few gasps during the powerful death scenes. Though the initial premise of the play was somewhat confusing, the audience was able to gauge the gist of the situation through the bird-like characteristics of the performers. The responsive audience further cemented how thrilling and thought-provoking the performance was. Furthermore, the minimalist sets and costumes, as well as, the unique lighting only enhanced the show by allowing a real connection between the actor and the audience member.
“ [It was] intimidating… but we were also really lucky to perform in front of the whole school,” said Gupta. Following the performance, the questioning and positivity was palpable. Halls were filled with students talking about what they had seen and arguing about the true themes of the play. “The acting was superb… the lighting was fantastic… [and the performance was] a good change,” said Senior Matthew Hardin.