January 27, 2015 • 576 views
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This past weekend, Presentation High School students put on an original musical called #HeadCase. Written by Presentation’s own Performing Arts Director, Jim Houle, the show was about adolescence and life in high school today. It touched on themes of depression, bullying, and suicide. After seeing the show, I can say that #HeadCase was like nothing else I’d ever seen before.
The story centers on a typical high school boy named Phoenix. The play travels inside his mind as the “voices” in his head hold a trial to determine whether he is sane or insane. Thus, the title “Headcase.”
The organization of the entire play is unique and intriguing; as the voices discuss certain events over the past few weeks of Phoenix’s life, the play flashes back and the actors portray these events for the audience to see. The story becomes more suspenseful and dark as it leads up to answering the question everyone was asking: who died?
One of my favorite aspects of the show was the projection of images and song lyrics on the three screens behind the audience. The play felt more interactive and compelling because the whole audience had a lot to look at during any given point of the show.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the entire setup of the performance was backwards. The audience’s seats were on what we usually see as the back of the stage, facing the front of the stage. While startling and weird at first, I thought the setup gave a much more personal feel to the viewers and an experience like none other before.
There were also certain actors and songs that stole the show. One of those songs was “I See Red,” which was sung by the character Wynn, played by senior Megan Rositano. The song was dark, but relatable for any teenager. Rositano definitely captured the whole audience with the emotional song and her great performance.
#HeadCase was an interesting, once-in-a-lifetime experience for any regular Presentation theater-goer. Whether it is the backwards setup, the original storyline, or the large screens behind the performers, there is something new for every person to see, which made the whole musical worth my night.