Drama department puts on successful production of The Giver

Joey Galletti and Christian Howard act in a scene

On Sunday, November 19, the drama department wrapped up its production of the 2017 fall play, The Giver. With excellent casting and use of sets and lighting, the cast and crew did a wonderful job of making this classic novel’s coming-of-age story become colorful.

The Giver is a story that centers around 12-year-old Jonas (played by senior Joey Galletti) who lives in a society that has completely eliminated all pain, fear, and hatred. However, the society has also eliminated choice. Every year at a ceremony, everyone’s career is decided for them at the age of twelve.

At this ceremony, Jonas is given the highly honored position of “the Receiver.” The Receiver’s job is just as the name says–to receive, specifically memories–from the previous Receiver, The Giver (played by Christian Howard).  These memories have been taken away from the citizens in the process of making everyone the same and worry-free. However, receiving these memories can be painful, mentally and physically, and Jonas soon learns the dark truths of his seemingly perfect society.

The two-act play follows Jonas, The Giver, and his friends Asher and Fiona (played by Jacob Blue and Natalie Roth), through all the trials and troubles as Jonas attempts to share these memories with the rest of society and eradicate “Sameness.”

Act One focuses on Jonas’s life before he was chosen to be the Receiver and the beginning moments of his journey through receiving memories. Jonas’s actions in act one foreshadow events that occur later in the play. The last scene of Act One portrays Jonas as he first starts to experience the memories of pain; this foreshadows a darker and more painful second act.

Act Two is much more climactic than the previous act. Galletti was able to convey raw emotion with a limited set and only his face and words. His actions give the story a new life. This is no small task, as a large percent of the play is a monologue. Additionally, the way the play is written, the main character, Jonas, never leaves the stage. He only floats back and forth between two main sets.

The casting and set of the play definitely played a large part in how interesting it was. Christian Howard, cast as The Giver, is blind. His strong voice and acting talent along with the costume and makeup transformed the eighteen-year-old into a 70-year-old all-seeing man. Additionally, there is a large age gap between the main cast. Natalie Roth, a freshman, and Joey Galletti, a senior, are able to act the same age despite the four-year difference.

Although viewers may have been put off at first by the minimalistic set, they soon understood its purpose. The fact that the set was representational brought more attention to the strong emotion in the play and the hard-hitting themes. Rather than the cast being supported by the set, the set was supported by the cast.

Overall, the drama department did a wonderful job of conveying the story of The Giver to the Linganore community. The play made viewers feel many different emotions and it was a very engaging show.

Come see the wonderful work of the drama department at their production of the musical, Footloose, this coming spring!