Despite a week’s hurricane delay and a sudden snowstorm swirling outside, an impressive performance of Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht hit the Hewitt stage last at 7:00pm, under the direction of Mr. Denver. With Pauline Cronin as the lead role of Mother Courage, the play was predestined for success, but the cast and crew’s successful production increased hundredfold from my original thoughts.
One behind-the-scenes fact worth mentioning is that four tenth grader cast members, at the least, were not completely well during the play. Skye Malik, for example, lost her voice, and Taylor Scanlan was beginning to get not only sick, and but hoarse as well. Yet still, they pulled off their roles exceptionally. Taylor’s voice was actually more fitting to that of her rough character, the Cook.
I also want to comment on the scene that was shown to us in school, in which Mother Courage is talking to the soldier (Adrien Lesser) who wants the rewards promised to him by his general. When I first saw the scene, I did not understand its purpose, not sensing the fact that Mother Courage was “talking to the audience.” It seemed more as if she was talking to the soldier to explain Mother Courage’s ideas on not challenging the status quo. Seeing it in the play tonight was enlightening, to say the least. As I told everyone I came across after the play, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. When I saw that the scene came just after Mother Courage lost her son Swiss Cheese because of bargaining, the song made much more sense, and so did Pauline’s expressions.
Cook’s Song, sung by Taylor Scanlan, was the embodiment of epic theater and the destruction of the fourth wall. This direct engagement with the audience surfaces in the lyrics, but, it’s made even more obvious by the fact that the cook sings to someone not onstage. This enforces the view of the character speaking directly to the audience.
I highly encourage any and all of you who have not yet seen Mother Courage and her Children to come tomorrow. The performance given last night rivaled those of All in the Timing and Antigone. While Mother Courage had the spotlight much of the time, all of the smaller parts were acted upon just as brilliantly. So come to the play tonight. 7:00pm. You won’tregret it.
Also, make sure to check out these exclusive interviews from the first night of production!