CFHS’s Performance of “WIT”


Justin McAuley, Staff Writer / Silver Streams Editor

On October 15 and 16, the theatre department hosted three performances of their show, “Wit.” The show covered themes surrounding death and kindness, demonstrating through an amazing performance how kindness is what saves us during our darkest times, including leading up to death. 

The play follows the main character, Vivian Bearing, a former English professor who gets diagnosed with stage-four ovarian cancer. The play shows her struggling through her experimental chemotherapy treatment, juxtaposed with a literary analysis of the poetry of John Donne. The theme of the play becomes clear as it questions how kindness is needed in the most dire moments of life, and it ponders tough questions like how deserving of kindness or people who have been unkind in the past.

The show, while not particularly technically difficult compared to the theatre department’s other plays, still had many moving parts and set changes. For example, at one point during the play, the set switches from Vivian on her hospital bed to a flashback of her in her classroom. To pull this off, the play required 10 people working on tech. In fact, the entire play required around 50 people to organize, prepare for and perform, according to Emily Gibbons, the stage manager of the play.

This hard work and involvement from many people resulted in a meaningful presentation. For example, when the play shifted from reality to Vivian’s internal monologue, the lights on the set changed from a neutral blue color to a more intense purple color. Additionally, the play was filled with sound effects, set changes and of course, dedication from the actors. 

To practice for the play, it required about two days of practice for seven weeks, as well as any additional time during lunch. Interestingly, rehearsal typically takes three to four days a week, but due to COVID and schedule restrictions, rehearsal time had to be cut down.

Caroline Floyd, the actress who played Vivian, shared her thoughts.

“The most challenging part was trying to get rid of any doubt, insecurity, or fear I had. Vivian Bearing goes through a lot of hardships during her cancer treatment so I had to do things that would make me uncomfortable in front of an audience, such as throwing up or screaming in pain. While this was the most challenging, it was a great highlight. Through this role, I’ve become more confident and now I feel more comfortable doing difficult scenes like those.”

The effort that everyone involved in this play put in is an important thing to recognize and appreciate, as the theatre department at our school puts a lot of work into making sure that their plays are well-made and ready for the audience.

The cast consisted of Caroline Floyd, Luke Kraus, Jakai Norfleet, Rylianna Hancheck, Owen Egloff, Taylor Quinn, Tanner Leonardo, Dorothy Hamrick, Connor Rothberg and Madalyn Adelstone. The crew members were also an integral part of the play. The crew consisted of Emily Gibbons, Gregg Buck, Alex Grizer, Caitlyn Buckley, London McGirr, Emma Zimmerman, Maris Feagin, Madalyn Adelstone, Shelby Hedges, Aryana Henry, Abigail Kauffman, Mr. Buck’s Theater Workshop I Classes, Carolyne Haithcock, and Sean O’Malley.

The theatre department puts much effort into their art, and the vast array of emotions, themes and lessons that are expressed in their shows deserve to be recognized.

Stage manager Emily Gibbons says that the importance of theatre is that “it is the most inclusive way to display all types of art, emotion, and diversity.”