Unique Staging, Strong Characters Make Foreigner Unforgettable

Rachel Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Drama’s production of The Foreigner was a smashing success with the trifecta of staging, casting, and delivery. I was most impressed by the director’s decisions regarding staging and the cast’s delivery of well-developed personalities.

Most interesting was the decision to seat the audience up on the stage, facing the greater auditorium. The actors performed in the direction opposite to what is customary, effectively exchanging the perspectives of the audience and the performers. With the two groups in such close quarters, the story became more interactive for the audience, which created a more personal experience. The music played between scenes and before the show also added to an appropriate atmosphere.

Drama teacher Jaime Donahoe’s casting decisions and each actor’s delivery completed the production’s success. Junior Kyle Merriman played the lead as Charlie Baker, a shy Englishman who pretends he cannot speak English. Merriman effectively built his character’s personality with the fewest lines of any performer in the play.

I was also impressed with senior Holly Reardon’s portrayal of Ellard Simms, the younger brother of a rich ex-debutante. Without looking at a program, her affectations –from itching her nose to her posture and manner of walking– would have convinced me she was actually a boy.

The play follows the shy Baker on his vacation in rural Georgia at a resort-style fishing lodge. Baker becomes privy to the secrets of the lodge owner and her tenants, as they don’t think he can understand them. The drama climaxes around the community’s acceptance of a “foreigner” in its midst.

The combination of engaging directorial choices and original delivery made The Foreigner a performance difficult to forget.