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The Play That Goes Wrong

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Lily Chen / The SPOKE

By Lily Chen, Design Editor

’Stoga Music Theater premiered its fall play, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” on Nov. 16. The production followed the story of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as it staged a 1920s murder mystery.

True to the play’s title, many mishaps intentionally befell the cast members and set. Props broke mid-scene, set pieces collapsed and characters missed their cues.

To prepare for the premiere, the actors worked closely with the props department and stage crew.

Senior Brett Baptiste played the role of Jonathan Harris, a cast member in the drama society whose character is presumed dead at the beginning of the play but later reveals to the audince that he was alive the whole time. At rehearsals, Baptiste worked to add personality to his character, which he found difficult to do at first.

“One challenge I had was embodying the character,” Baptiste said. “But the way I faced that challenge was (by watching) different adaptations of the play. I went on YouTube and looked at different people (playing my character), and I realized where I could make my own choices to change the character a little bit and make it funnier.”

Senior and student assistant to the director Maggie Troy worked closely with play director and music teacher Nathan Shughart and the student department heads of stage crew and props. She believes the play was more involved and demanding than previous shows.

“I think (this play) is a lot harder technically just from the stage crew and everything,” Troy said. “You have to be really careful, specifically for actor safety, because with props going on and stuff happening, it’s really important to make sure that the actors stay safe on stage.”

According to Baptise, despite this being Shughart’s first year as director for a ’Stoga play, his experience with directing was apparent. Baptiste also believes Shughart’s theater expertise helped the play run smoothly.

“His (Shughart’s) brain is always thinking of new ideas and new ways to make things funnier, and he’s always working one-on-one with people,” Baptiste said. “He’s very smart, and he’s very good at reading and understanding all the lines and everything. I think he’s the best person who’s done the play since the beginning because he has a lot of theater training and he understands a lot of the cues and he’s able to help us as actors.”

Troy believes the stage crew and actors came a long way in preparing for the play. She said that all of the effort the cast put into memorizing lines exceeded her expectations.

“I’m really proud of everyone in the cast and crew,” Troy said. “They’re so amazing, and they’ve done so good.”


Lily Chen can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lily Chen, Design Editor
Lily Chen is a sophomore and the Design Editor of The Spoke. She designs graphic spreads, covers community events and 'Stoga sports, and has a passion for photography. Outside of the newsroom, she is a member of many clubs at Conestoga, including Speech and Debate and HOSA.