Original Historical Drama at MS 258
Since November, the after school drama program at MS 258 Community Action School has been working with teaching artist Brendan Boland on developing an original historical drama, which they recently performed at the school for family, friends and the community. Entitled “The Dark Side of Salem,” the play is a realistic protrayal of the events of the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts in the late 1600s. Students researched important events and people from this dark time in history, and started by writing monologues about various characters. They then worked collaboratively to write, revise, cast and rehearse the play.
After their dress rehearsal, the cast gathered to reflect on their performance and disucss what they felt they did well and what they wanted to improve upon for their next performance.
Following their evening performance for families, the cast participated in a Q&A with the audience to discuss their inspiration and creative process. Everyone also talked about their viewpoints on what morals can be learned from the play and how the themes the play explores are still relevant today.
“Our play is about people trying to deceive other people. I hope people that see the play would learn to always stick to your own path. Don’t follow the flow of what other people are doing. Stick to your own opinions and choices.” – Roger, 7th grade
“It was scary and I was nervous, but once we warmed up, everything was good. I was most proud that I knew all my lines and that the play could teach people some lessons that they could take into the real world.” – Shyla, 7th grade
“I was scared to play my character because she is a strong character and does some nasty stuff. She’s a really big liar, and people are killed because of her lies. I think everybody did great. Every line came from us and we worked really hard. The lessons of the play are that you should not lie and don’t go along with something if you know it’s wrong.” – Anayess, 7th grade