Taking the Challenge

Beth M., Class of 2012
As Opening Night of The Metamorphosis creeps closer, we are beginning to see the bits and pieces we have been working on be transformed into a cohesive, exciting performance. This is my seventh play at JCHS, and I have never experienced anything quite like this one. Each day brings something new and different. There is always some new fact about the Warsaw Ghetto to be learned, or a different acting technique to think about and apply to our characters, or even new things to be learned about marketing as we fundraise for our trip.
What I find most interesting about this production is the teamwork involved. Now, of course every production requires teamwork, but this one is unusual – we have characters being played by multiple people at the same time. This requires coordination, and synchronized movement. Previously, at the end of our warm-ups, we used to do a collective jump. What this consisted of was each of us, standing in a circle and facing one another. Then, without words we had to jump and land at the same time. We got nearly perfect a couple of times (of course it took us a few tries each time). Now, every day at the start of rehearsal, we play a game which jumpstarts us into the process of listening, focusing, and functioning in sync with one another.

As we inch towards getting off book, I have begun to realize the increased physical movement I (and my fellow cast members) have to make throughout this play. Numerous actors have attempted to strengthen their muscles (with who knows how much success) to make their jobs a little easier. I myself found that I was straining my back and shoulders.

Although this play may challenge us all physically, I believe that the audience will notice the difference of this play compared to all others at JCHS: Since this play is being performed in Scotland, we cannot take a large amount of set with us. With less set, the production depends even more highly on the actors themselves and the physicality they bring to the vision of the show.

Our movement has been limited due to the bulky binders and scripts we are temporarily dependent on, but I believe that when the scripts are gone and the stage is set, we are going to pull off one heck of a show!

Overall, this production is much more than just your average go-to-rehearsal-then-put-on-a-show production; it is a learning experience which each and every member of the cast and crew – and hopefully, the audience – will never forget.
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.