By: Julian Quao
Staff writer Julian Quao interviewed Ms. Karen Taylor, Writer and editor in the Marketing & Communications Department, regarding her thoughts about Ravenscroft School’s Drama Department and theater generally.
What do you think makes Ravenscroft theater program unique?
Ravenscroft’s theater program has a long tradition of putting on high-quality and demanding stage productions. Particularly for a school of Ravenscroft’s size, the level of student participation as both cast and crew is impressive, and the caliber of talent really reinforces how much the school values the performing arts overall.
What is exciting about plays in your opinion?
What stage productions give us that, say, movies or TV doesn’t is that thrilling sense of having everything unfold just a few steps away from where the audience sits and knowing that the cast is aware of our presence. That energy gets shared, and especially during lively song-and-dance numbers or really intense monologues, the audience experiences the joy or tension in a much more visceral way.
Have you ever been involved in a play yourself?
I did two plays in junior high — but I quickly realized I did not enjoy worrying about messing up my lines!
What do you think needs to happen in order for a good play to be great?
Plays don’t come close to movies or TV shows in making you believe the world of the play is real. We see the curtains opening and closing, we watch the crew move set pieces around and we can tell when the same actor is playing more than one character. But none of that matters if the performers really commit to their roles and draw you into the story they’re there to tell.
I think a good play becomes great when you really do find yourself living in that world for ninety minutes — when the characters feel real and the world around them feels fully developed despite the spareness of the set.