VALDOSTA — Author Gertrude Stein, aviator Amelia Earnart, Queen Isabella, Contanze Mozart, Joan of Arc, activist Susan B. Anthony, silent film star Pearl White and explorer Osa Johnson walk into a room.
It’s not the start of a joke but the premise of Lowndes High School Off-Broadway’s production of playwright Arthur Kopit’s one-act play “Chamber Music.”
Set in the 1930s, the women meet to prepare for a perceived attack from men.
The play has humor, drama, some unexpected twists, and a message about the oppression of women throughout history.
That’s a lot to do in less than 45 minutes.
The show opens for public performances this week but it will be the LHS Off-Broadway presentation at the Georgia Theatre Conference competition next month in Carollton, said Sheri Dorsett, theatre director.
As part of competition, the cast and crew must set up the scenery, perform and strike the set in less than 45 minutes.
As students put final touches setting the scene, the show starts seamlessly; the music of Mozart plays as Gracen Brantley playing the “woman who plays records,” or Mrs. Mozart, stares out a window.
The cast and crew pull off a strong performance and stay within the time limit during a dress rehearsal run Monday afternoon. “Chamber Music” has an ensemble cast, with moments for each student to shine, and to work throughout the performance as a strong and cohesive team.
Dorsett said “Chamber Music” presents an educational opportunity, too. The play introduces theatre students to a different type of script, a different style of theatre.
Kopit is an absurdist playwright, whose other works include “Indians,” a surreal look at Buffalo Bill Cody’s life correlating the Indian wars with Vietnam.
“Chamber Music” was written in 1962 and is set in the 1930s, but still raises relevant questions in 2017.
THE CAST: Gracen…