Mike, Cheyenne, and I went to the opening night of Schoolhouse last night. Schoolhouse by Leanna Brodie was performed at The Stage at Island Park by the Tin Roof Theatre Company. The play was an interesting mix of history, social commentary, humor, and tragedy.
Schoolhouse is the type of play that lingers with you. The play is set in 1938 in a one room schoolhouse in a farming community. The play interweaves a number of themes through its examination of the students’ and their teacher’s experiences and growth. The themes – stereotypical gender roles, the value of education, the challenges inherent in teaching, the way we label others, bullying, and group think – were all wrapped around and woven throughout the play’s key messages of the power of caring about another person and being willing to give them a second chance.
Yes, all those things were in that play. That is why it lingers with you. The richness of all the pieces of it are left to soak into your psyche. You keep thinking about Miss Linton, Ewart, Milton, and the others…you keep thinking about the way it was back in the day with the school children of all ages together…you keep thinking about what it was like to be a young woman in that day and age…you keep thinking about how you might have acted if you were one of the parents whose children attended the school…you just keep thinking.
I think that was Leana Brodie’s point – to get folks thinking about how these things played out back then and how they still play out today. In Miss Linton’s story as it intersected with Ewart’s story there was a powerful reminder of how important it is for all human beings to be valued and cared about. It reminded me personally of the power a teacher’s commitment can have in a student’s life and the weight of that responsibility.
Bravo to the entire cast of Schoolhouse for a job well-done. Special accolades to Matthew Englund who really brought the angst and humanity in Ewart to life. I would encourage folks to get out and see this play. There are performances on September 12th, 13th, and 14th at 7:30 PM and matinees on the 8th and 15th at 2 PM.
Schoolhouse is a play that you will remember long after its run is through. It may be set in a 1938 schoolhouse, but it carries timeless themes that deserve our attention. Thank you Tin Roof Theatre Company for bringing this performance to The Stage at Island Park.
Day one thousand five hundred and twenty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da