White magic, the power of God, and a monster that is made out of clay mud, all weaved into a story based on Jewish legend, is what the Winthrop Drama Society will be taking to the semi-final stage this year. The play, rightfully titled, “Golem,” was written by 17-year-old junior, Samantha Long and will be presented Saturday March 2, on the stage that the students are most comfortable with…the Neil Shapiro Center for the Performing Arts. Winthrop will be one of 14 preliminary sites hosting the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) High School Drama Festival, which will catapult the competitive season. Organized on three levels-preliminary, semi-final, and state, high schoolers will be scored on technical design, acting quality, and the ability to stay within the 40-minute time requirement.
The drama society has been rehearsing diligently since the start of the year, in hopes of bringing another major accomplishment to the stage. Unlike their performances in the past, “Golem,” is not a pre-existing play, and there was a lot of tweaking and editing the script to make it feel organic. Set in Prague in the 1700s, “Golem” takes place in a community that fights back with the help of a young boy and his creation of a monster that comes to life. While the monster saves some of the citizens, it ends up getting out of hand, resulting in more problems and leavaing the boy to make tough decisions.
“It was certainly challenging to create the ensemble considering we were working from scratch with no research,” said drama teacher, Karen Calinda. “I like to think of Samantha’s creation has her own Disney version of a legend.”
Costume designer Zara Powell had to work hard to come up with ideas that were realistic and fitting for the brand-new project.
“Costumes for this show have honestly been a bit of a challenge because there isn’t anyone else who has ever done this play before so there is nothing to go off of, but I think we’ve come up with some great ideas and designs,” said Powell. “The show itself is going to look great and it’s been fun to play with different styles than I’m used to.”
The Drama Society will be defending their two-year title as state championships on Saturday, March 2nd in the Neil Shapiro Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets can be purchased at the door for the all-day event.
“We don’t like to think about it as winning, we just want to bring an amazing piece of theater to life,” said Calinda. “However; winning over the past two years has certainly set a precedence for kids.”