Prep play ready for prime time

The Year 7 fall play, Box, has come to a screen – rather than a stage – near you!
Given ongoing pandemic-related restrictions, director and Prep faculty member Peter Labancz decided to present the play to the UCC community on film. You can watch the performance on UCC’s YouTube channel. 

"This is a play that can run in any format," says Labancz, who worked with co-director and set designer Nancy Preston, an art teacher at the Prep. “We have a brand-new, high-tech camera and we’ve been able to film the play in various places around the school. Tom Sharpe, our Year 7 design teacher, did the editing and Bowie, a Year 7 student, has been an excellent stage manager.” 

Box lends itself well to filming, because it consists of 12 vignettes with monologues that serve as the transition between each one. Targeted toward middle school students, the play explores the boxes that we are all assigned to by others and, perhaps, ourselves — the rebel, the good student and the loudmouth, for example — and the expectations those boxes, or labels, place on us. 

“It’s a play that brings up a lot of social and personal issues,” Labancz says. “For example, there’s a boy whose father tells him it’s important to be tough or people will take advantage of him, but it’s not in his personality, and there’s another whose father was a top athlete in school, but he isn’t.”

The cast has been working hard on the play since September, memorizing their lines, doing the blocking, and performing their scenes in rehearsals during games period. They practised for six weeks and did the filming in three.

“The students have shown a real commitment to learning lines,” says Labancz. “They’ve been impressive and organized. They really liked being part of a film; it created an atmosphere of professionalism and intensity.

“It’s been a blast to develop and shoot.”
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