The Rumor around Blair

Oct. 7, 2004, midnight | By Kristi Chakrabarti | 16 years, 6 months ago

Preparations underway for the upcoming fall play

English and CAP Journalism teacher Anne Cullen will establish her directorial debut in the upcoming fall play, Rumors by Neil Simon. Cullen has taken the job of directing the play to challenge herself, but knows that it will be a lot of fun. She chose Rumors because she is very familiar with Simon's work and thinks that is a suspenseful and humorous script that the students will enjoy.

The play is a fast-paced farce about a New York high-society couple (Charlie and Myra) that invites eight of their best friends to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. However, things become complicated when guests arrive at the party, only to find the Charlie's body covered with blood, a gun and a suicide note and no Myra.

The ten-member cast of Rumors is relatively small compared to previous Blair productions. According to sophomore Josh Griner, who plays officer Welch, the cast and crew of last year's production of The Merry Widow totaled close to 100 and the cast itself was well over 30. However, because of their smaller size, the members of Rumors have quickly become acquainted with each other's dynamics. "There is really good chemistry between all of us," says senior Alex Gersh, playing Ken Gorman.

Assistant director senior Elise Harvey says that having a smaller cast with mostly veterans fits Cullen well because she can learn from them as much as they can learn from her. However, Harvey explains that Cullen plans to have a larger ensemble cast for the spring musical which cannot be revealed with around 60 people.

According to Harvey, a major difference between Rumors and other plays is that one set will encompass the entire stage. The large set with stairs, opening doors, and a balcony requires the students to become aware of their surroundings. "The cast has to learn how to use their space, they must work with the props and not only with each other," she says.

Written in 1988, Rumors is one of Neil Simon's later works, which, according to sophomore Anna Szapiro (Claire Ganz) shows Cullen's "more contemporary taste." Even though the play is relatively modern, Gersh explains that many of the dated jokes have been altered to relate to today's society.

Kristi Chakrabarti. Kristi Chakrabarti is finally a Magnet senior who is obsessed with basketball and is a die-hard Wizards fan. When she is not religiously following the NBA, she enjoys playing tennis and reading. Her favorite TV shows are Friends and ER and her favorite food is … More »

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