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March 29, 2006

A play for "All Seasons"

by Mary Donahue, Online Managing Features Editor
Just as Laurence Olivier was born to be on the big screen and Ginger Rogers was born to dance, Blair senior Joe Lorenz was born to light up the stage. He did just that in the Pine Players' production of Robert Bolt's "A Man For All Seasons" with the help of other talented Blair students. Although the entire cast of the Pine Players' production was fabulous, Lorenz, who played the lead role, Sir Thomas More, carries the play from ordinary to extraordinary.
Senior Joe Lorenz and sophomore Sarah Rothman perform in the Pine Players production of "A Man for All Seasons."  <i>Photo courtesy of Ellie D'Eustachio.</i>
Senior Joe Lorenz and sophomore Sarah Rothman perform in the Pine Players production of "A Man for All Seasons." Photo courtesy of Ellie D'Eustachio.


Under the direction of senior Lizzi Albert and junior Leandra Tidwell, Lorenz captures the morality and dry wit of his character with the grace of a professional actor. When More, an advisor to King Henry VIII, is asked to break his oath to the Pope and grant the king a divorce, More is torn between loyalty for his country and his own principles. As the despicable team of Thomas Cromwell (senior Katie Frank) and selfish Richard Rich (senior Bruno Falcon) search for ways to incriminate More and force him to grant the divorce, More gracefully dodges any direct involvement in the political struggle. But More cannot stay impartial forever and eventually must choose between his life and martyrdom. Helping sway his decision are his close friends, the Duke of Norfolk (junior Scott Wittmann), wife Alice (senior Sally Lanar) and daughter Margaret (sophomore Sarah Rothman). In this relatively somber play, The Common Man (junior Zachary Eaton,) provides excellent narration.

Although about half the cast is new to the group, including Lorenz, the Pine Players still work well together with minimal line blunders. They put on a professional production that would have pleased even the harshest of critics.

Lorenz may carry the play forward, but new members Falcon and Whittman hold their own against the more experienced actors. Lanar, another addition to the Pine Players, manages to develop the independent nature of her character and works well with Lorenz.

Frank, who has performed with the Pine Players before, pulls off Cromwell and presents a villain who is malevolent and scheming, but not cliché. Eaton, also a returning Player, is a great Common Man who does not steal the spotlight, but still gives a memorable performance filled with sarcastic humor and exaggerated facial expressions.

All of these actors, though good, wither in comparison to Lorenz. What stands out in Lorenz is not just his natural acting ability, but the work that he obviously put into preparing for his role. He does not just rely on his natural talent. This fusion of dedication and talent results in Lorenz becoming Sir Thomas More, not just him pretending to be More.

Although the Pine Players are not always Blazers, their plays are entirely produced, directed and performed by high school students. "A Man For All Season's" cast is comprised entirely of Blair students and boasts amazing costumes and artwork, made by juniors Ellie d'Eustachio and Sean Griffin. The Pine Players have put on four plays since their beginning in 2004 and have raised more than $3500 for Bread for the City, a charity that aids the homeless in Washington, D.C.

"A Man For All Seasons" regrettably played for only two nights, but each night brought a full house, and the Pine Players raised $1462. The Pine Players not only gives students a chance to form strong bonds with one another, but they also give back to the community through both entertainment and charity.

"A Man For All Seasons" showed on March 23 and 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Washington Ethical Society (7750 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20012).



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  • hey! on March 29, 2006 at 6:38 PM
    what about shagee?

    he was my favorite part.
  • hmm on March 29, 2006 at 6:40 PM
    "All of these actors, though good, wither in comparison to Lorenz."
    yes and no...i think it's important to realize that lorenz held the leading role in the show, with clearly twice as many lines as any other character. thomas more's character, in and of itself, gave the actor more chances to demonstrate his abilities as a performer.
    the other roles were smaller and more restrictive: there are only so many facets to the characters. i would not go so far as to say one actor in the show was so superior to all the others that he made them pale in comparisons.
    all the pine players actors are excellent, and the parts they may have been assigned just didn't reflect their diverse talents. a play may shine with a leading actor, but lorenz by himself on a stage would not be a play...
    basically...don't be so quick to judge or be so harsh in your judgements.
  • History Lesson on March 29, 2006 at 7:24 PM
    "Thomas Cromwell (senior Katie Frank) and selfish Richard Rich (senior Bruno Falcon) search for ways to incriminate More and force him to grant the divorce"
    This is inaccurate. It was never in More’s power to grant the divorce. The only person who could legally annul Henry’s marriage in 1530 was the pope, which is why Henry breaks with Rome and gets parliament to pass the Act of Supremacy. The act created the Church of England and made Henry its supreme head so he could grant himself the divorce. Henry was having Rich and Cromwell apply pressure to More because he wanted his support, not because he needed his permission to set aside Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn.
  • :-) on March 29, 2006 at 7:55 PM
    The costumes were awesome :-)
  • shaagnik on March 29, 2006 at 9:44 PM
    I LOVE JOOOOEE
  • zox rox on March 29, 2006 at 10:33 PM
    The makeup was amazing as well.
  • Something is missing... on March 29, 2006 at 10:53 PM
    Let us not forget our lovely Roper, the talented, charming, and sexy piece of man candy that is Pierre Eric Grahn.
  • quail on March 30, 2006 at 6:27 AM
    Dear Hmm,

    Yes, it's true that Joe had more of a chance to show his ability. However, this is exactly what the author is implying. She is not saying that all the other actors had no talent, but that Joe was much more noticeable. I agree with the author. This isn't a moral debate, it's a fact: Joe was featured, thus we were more impressed by him.

    *shrug*
  • Nicole on March 31, 2006 at 7:48 PM
    I thought that the play was awesome... and I'm excited to see the next Pine Players performance!!!!
  • hey! again on April 1, 2006 at 4:07 PM
    I agree with Something is missing...

    PIERRE WAS FABULOUS.
    So was Shagee!

    And everyone. Not just Joe, who was admittedly excellent.
  • neonefertiti on April 18, 2006 at 9:48 AM
    i agree; it was a really hard play and the cast did an excellent job. and, as ever, joe was STUPENDOUS...its very true that he obviously puts a lot of thought into his characters. but your review didn't mention shagee or zach or sarah r, who i also thought gave good performances. good job, pine playaz!
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