School ‘Hay Fever’ play cast impresses with Comedy, shines with Characterization

Libby Archer

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Judith Bliss (Rebecca Velasquez) over reacts to a statement by her daughter Sorel (Emily Kang) during play rehearsal on Feb. 25.


Sandy Tyrell (Alex Kaiser) meets Myra Arundel (Riley Cockerham) for the first time at the country house during play rehearsal on Feb. 25.

“Hay Fever,” written by Noel Coward, was presented by the Theater Department from Feb. 25-27. The light-hearted comedy accurately depicted the theatrics of living with artists.
The play takes place over the span of a weekend at the Bliss family’s country house in Cookham, England, in 1925. The story follows Sorel Bliss, played by Emily Kang, and her hopes to be a part of a “normal family.” She invites prim, proper Richard Greatham, played by Matthew Kertzman, to come stay with her and her family for the weekend. Sorel finds out immediately after the play begins that her brother Simon Bliss, played by Dom Doray, had invited promiscuous Myra Arundel, played by Riley Cockerham, to the house as well.
Somewhat separated but still married, Judith (Rebecca Velasquez) and David (Nathan Dettlebach) Bliss both invite love interests to the house for the same weekend. Alex Kaiser plays boxer Sandy Tyrell, who starts a relationship with Judith, unaware of her current marriage to David, who invited bashful flapper Jackie Coryton, played by Mercedes McGonigle, and forgets about her immediately, giving all of his attention to his son’s love interest.
Maid Clara, played by Jenn Harry, narrates what we are all thinking throughout the show, as well as adding some comic relief to even the most exasperating situations.
The play is filled with romance, lust, awkward interactions and plenty of drama. Velasquez was an obvious crowd favorite with her stimulating performance. With her flamboyant and expressive facial expressions, anything she could have said would had been hilarious.
Every actor brought a hint of their own style into their parts, which kept the audience’s full attention throughout the show, dreading that they might miss even a second. In the scenes when all of the guests meet each other, you could feel the tension in the room, especially in the scenes where Judith tries to seduce Richard; you could feel his discomfort from across the room.
Any loss of lines due to thick accents was positively overshadowed by the immaculately dressed set. The play was full of life and had little to no dull moments throughout.

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School ‘Hay Fever’ play cast impresses with Comedy, shines with Characterization