The Fall of Usher, but the rise of MV Drama

Sumin Lim, Sports Editor

    Monte Vista’s drama program sent shivers down the spines of everyone who saw their production of The Fall of the House of Usher based off the Edgar Allen Poe story.

    In the play, a mysterious stranger in a bar, played by Jack Cullinane, tells the story of the fall of the mad Usher family. Roderick Usher, played by Darren Hannan, suffers from depression and is slowly going crazy due to the voices he hears from the walls. Roderick’s sister, Madeline, is buried alive after the doctor misdiagnosed her “death.”.             

    Because of the nature of these characters and the fact that the story took place such a long time ago, it was a challenge for many of the play production students in approaching their roles.

     “It was hard to play Rodrick just because I have never even attempted to play a character like him,” senior Darren Hannan said. “Some of the difficult things were trying to feel the emotion and pressure he was feeling without having actually gone through that type of mental stress.”

    The actors had to work on enhancing their characters’ emotions, due to the melodramatic nature of this play.

    “We always did a very truthful style of performing,” drama teacher Chris Connor said. “But these were very exaggerated characters, and we had to make [the roles] exaggerated without making it seem ridiculous.”

    Although they have done thrillers in the past, this was their first production involving a supernatural aspect which was a real challenge to tackle but was also an exciting and different opportunity to these budding actors.

   “We’d never done anything involving the supernatural aspect of horror,” senior Natalie Couture, who played Roderick’s ex fiance, Lenore. “It was really fun to get to experiment with a creepy genre because it bled into everything we did: the acting, the lights, the makeup, the costumes, the set- everything.”

   This complex and detail oriented production required a lot of hours and hard work to pull off, especially with the set design and lighting.

    “Almost every aspect of the play was difficult but that is what made this show so amazing,” junior Annie Starn, who played one of the three dancers, said. “The stage crafts crew [had] such a hard set to design with a lot of lighting and sound cues; I don’t know how they pulled it off.”

    Although this production was a brand new challenge for everyone involved in it, Monte Vista’s drama program did not fail to impress its audience all three show nights.

    “After all the countless hours and all of us coming together for the same goal, it was amazing to see the audience appreciate it as much as the actors and the crew do,” Starn said.