What’s old is new again in Upper School fall play — now online for audiences

The Book of Job is based on the book of the same name in the Old Testament of the Bible. 
The production — which can be viewed here — has a cast of 11 students performing a script adapted from a translation by Stephen Mitchell, directed by teachers Julian Bauld and Lindsay Bell and filmed by Christian Peterson ’06. Two students served as the crew.

“This is one of the world’s oldest stories,” Bauld told student publication The Blue and White, “but even though our times are decidedly more secular, it presents questions and problems that we all have at some point in our lives. On one level it questions the origin of suffering, but it also challenges us to think, specifically, about who suffers, particularly the innocent. It reminds us of the limitation of our reason and our demands for answers and confirms that sometimes we just do not get to know why things happen.” 

The dedicated cast and crew rehearsed and filmed Job in the David Chu Theatre, which is large enough to allow for physical distancing, and with mask protocols in place.

“The structure of the play doesn’t rely on physical interaction or proximity, so we didn’t have to adapt or re-conceptualize the script to prioritize safety protocols,” says Bell. 

“For me, it’s refreshing and inspiring to be just in a theatre space again, collaborating, and working with young artists. It goes without saying that the past 18 months were incredibly difficult for theatre makers, and I feel profoundly honoured to be at UCC where we can get together and create theatre once again. I think the students do feel the same way — moving in the space, engaging in ideas, and working together in person is a significant change for them as well. An invigorating and thrilling change, I hope.”

Bauld says the actors took on the challenge of the play with enthusiasm.

“I don’t think any of the actors knew the story coming into the auditions, but now they have a good feel for the philosophical questions and for archetypal characters,” he says. “The actors worked hard, got to know their roles, and allowed the language to bring them to the emotional honesty in the play. It’s great to see.

“And this cast and crew have been unwavering in their efforts to lift the play off the page and onto the screen.”

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