Soquel High’s Knights of the Square Stage are at it again, this time with a play that delves into the history behind family photographs. Becoming Memories by Arthur Giron follows five different midwestern families through three generations, and it leaves no dirty laundry unaired.
“This is generally a show that high schools don’t do, because of its depth. It’s very difficult,” said Maggie Kline, Theater Arts director and English teacher at .
The play, which goes back as far as 1911, deals with the heavy subject matter of abusive relationships between husbands and wives.
“My character’s really angry, and it was difficult to get that anger,” said senior Jerry Hart, who plays one of the main characters, a rich man named Arthur who Hart said is not used to being told “no.”
In one scene, Arthur pulls out his belt to beat his wife, which Hart said is one of his most challenging scenes.
“She [Kline] kept telling me I needed to show more anger," Hart said. "I just think of things that would make me angry to get the anger out, and it gets me to raise my voice more.”
This winter’s play does not have the goof and glitz of last spring's prodution, , but Kline said she felt her students could rise to the challenge. And judging from Wednesday’s dress rehearsal, the students have risen, and then some.
Senior Taylor Boling plays a mennonite from Germany named Hannah and mastered a german accent to play the role. Boling said she watched lots of videos to get her accent as authentic as possible. The results are riveting.
“I tell them your job as an actor is to figure out how to do this. If you need help, I'm here,” Kline said.
Becoming Memories opens with a contemporary family looking at an old family photograph, and the play follows along in this theme of old images and the stories behind them. The set and costumes are done almost entirely in sepia tones. Senior Daphne Brinson, who also plays two roles in the play, designed all of the costumes, and Kline sewed them.
The appearance of a 1927 Roadster could be the icing on the cake.
"The goal was to create a world that wasn't Soquel High," Kline said of the set and costumes.
Kline said she chose this particular play because it dealt with family, love and acceptance, and the students agree. Senior Ava Lindberg, who plays Ida, a school teacher whose future husband leaves her to fight in World War I, appreciates that authenticity.
“What I like about this play is that it portrays all different problems that real families have,” Lindberg said.
Becoming Memories runs Friday, Jan. 13 through Sunday, Jan. 15. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a matinee on Sunday.