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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

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Cappies Review: The Grown-Ups

Summer’s here and it’s time to head back to camp! Come to Camp Indigo Woods to eat lots of s’mores, participate in the Rainbow Summit, make new friends, and protect your campers from a national crisis?! The Benjamin School’s spectacular performance of The Grown-Ups tells the tale of a summer like no other.

The Grown-Ups was written and produced by Nightdrive, a youthful theatre company, in 2021. Since theaters were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they invited small audiences to their backyard to watch their performances. Critics enthusiastically described it as “the coolest new play you probably can’t see.”  Its plot follows a group of counselors at a summer camp as they congregate after putting their campers to sleep. They tell each other their “Oh, yays” and “No, ways” and work through internal conflicts. But when they hear about a meme-turned-impending threat, they must figure out the best way to preserve the magic of camp while keeping the kids safe.

Xan Blount (Cassie) perfectly executed the entirety of her character’s arc. She flawlessly conveyed a wide range of expressions, especially during the emotional reveal of her connection to this camp. David Frear (Lukas) showcased his special skills, including playing the guitar and speaking Spanish! He utilized impeccable characterization that assisted in his believability. He cultivated chemistry with Rebekkah Merkel (Maeve) that developed beautifully throughout the show. Merkel delivered a constantly clear understanding of her character as she learned to let go of tradition.

Sage Sorenson (Becca) displayed phenomenal comedic timing. She was extremely expressive in every moment – from telling campfire stories to expressing her frustrations with her best friend. Her nuanced acting choices were reminiscent of a true camp counselor. Demonstrating superior vocal inflection, middle schooler Harrison Poulakakos (Aidan) impressively acted alongside his older castmates. A standout moment of the production came at the end as he recited his exceptionally moving monologue.

As a whole, the cast provided tremendously realistic and three-dimensional characters. They interacted with each other well – creating unique dynamics between every combination. Although actors hesitated to deliver certain lines, they recovered immediately and stayed engaged in the story. Their consistent stage business was an asset to their production, especially since it was produced in the round.

The costumes, designed by Evelyn Peyovich, allowed individual expression and uniformity to coexist. She gave the staff members camp-themed accessories and crafted designs on their shirts to represent their personalities. The extraordinary set and lighting combined to produce the atmosphere of the woods. They worked in conjunction with the sound design – as classic camp cheers were played during blackouts to preserve this atmosphere.

The Benjamin School’s remarkably powerful production of The Grown-Ups balanced comedy with a heavy plotline. Despite any unfathomable circumstance they face, the staff at Camp Indigo Woods are dedicated to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow.

 

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