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Cappies Review: 'Acts of God': Feel it Without Going Through it

Bishop DuBourg High school puts on a wonderful play, full of emotions, according to this student review by The Cappies, the student thespian and critical review program in the region.

By Tiffany Vonderahe of Northwest School District

The terrible misfortunes that surround everyone, including earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados, are addressed in this play as “Acts of God.” The play starts with a window, a simple window with Maria, Gibbons, explaining the window. It ends with the lights dimming, and the sirens starting. Bishop DuBourg High school puts on a wonderful play, full of emotions.

The world premiere of “Acts of God” was in 2006 at the Evansville Civic Center in Evansville, Indiana.  It was based off of actual events.  Bishop DuBourg, however, added the Joplin tornado to the story, and it fit right in.  They also changed the character “Fernando” from a girl to a boy.  These changes are perfectly acceptable.

Hannah Gibbons, who performs as Maria Frazier, is easy to understand.  Her acting is thoroughly enjoyable throughout the play.  Gibbons creates a believable character because she emphasizes the correct words each time.  Evan Turek creates a delightfully relatable character, Zach Mencherian.  Turek also speaks clearly as he talks, causing his character to be better understood.

Ali Linderer stays in character as Kim Packard during the entire play, even when she has no lines.  Her monologue towards the end is full of emotion, and is executed with near perfection.  Kelsey Gerling is a character with strong emotions played by Elizabeth Burnes, who brings those emotions to life.  Mario Meyer created a strong character in Fernando Arroyo, especially in his scene about his family.  Ethan Trower, who plays Jared Seifert, brought comic relief to the play without overdoing it.

For once, in a high school production, the sound is loud, and clear.  This helps everything to be easily understood.  The music is extremely entertaining.  The scene with the flashlights is interesting, and an attention catcher.  The set design is unusual, but makes sense.

Towards the beginning there are awkward pauses in between lines.  At times, some of the actors are hard to understand.  Their diction needs improvement, especially when they start to shout.  Also, when some of the actors are angry, they talk a little too fast.  Some of them need to stay in character the entire time, even when no line is being said. There is weird blocking that covers other actor up.  The music is behind when they start singing, however, their vocals are well done.  There is also a random blue light in the corner of the stage at one point.

The play is well executed, and the actors are believable.  It is surprising, but thoroughly entertaining.  “Acts of God” may not be fun in a backyard, but onstage it is an enjoyable event.  Just to see how someone would go through the harsh events that people hear about, such as Joplin, is interesting to witness.  “Acts of God” is a thought provoking play.

This review was submitted by The Cappies, a program that trains high school theater and journalism students as critics. The students then attend shows at other schools, write reviews and publish those reviews in local news outlets. At the end of the year, student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala.

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