Small scale, big drama in ‘Months on End’

Alexa Jurado, Staff Writer

For this year’s spring play, Cary-Grove performed Months on End. This play is about the relationships within a group of friends and their everyday struggles. Each scene took place in a different month of the year and illustrated how people grow.

“It seemed, more or less, like a really big episode of ‘Friends,’ which was fun,” said junior Brad Porter, who played Nick. “I really liked the different styles of the characters and the relationships that they had, because it would’ve been very easy to make the show about just romantic relationships, like Ben and Phoebe, or me and Paige, but it isn’t. It’s about family relationships, brothers and friends, and this old married couple that has been together forever, and their relationships with their kids, and the kids’ relationships with each other. I think it really creates a realism that people respond to.”

Junior Haley Gustafson, who played Phoebe, liked the the contrast between Months on End and other bigger productions Cary-Grove has put on.

“I was really excited [when I first read the script],” Gustafson said. “It kind of reminded me of one of the plays that my brother, when he went here, had been in, called Almost Maine, which is another really intimate, small show,” she says. “That was a nice change from like huge production numbers that we’ve done this year, not that they weren’t awesome, Cinderella and Little Women, but it was a nice contrast, so I was initially very, very excited.”

Gustafson also said that acting in this play was different from others she had been in before.

“It’s nice to have a realistically written character, so not super over the top, but that also makes it harder to find ways to play that character,” she said. “For example, when you’re in a show like Cinderella, there’s pretty glaring traits of each character, but with characters that have more depth, it’s both a blessing and a curse, because it can be harder to find obvious details to grab onto. It was the first time I think I’ve been able to do realistic acting, dramatic acting, versus playing a character, or doing strictly comedic acting, which was a nice change.”

The play was also put on in a very short amount of time, which created some challenges.

“It was kind of a train wreck until the last night, because we only have five weeks to put together a show, which is not a lot of time,” Gustafson said. “There was a lot of trying to figure out how to make the set work, and there’d be times when it came out halfway and stopped, and we’d just have to go on with the scene. We were just really focused on trying to memorize, because we don’t have a lot of time.”

Much like the minimal rehearsal time, the minimal set for the play was a challenge.

“We don’t really have a set, so what we have is that couch, and we had to move it back everyday when we were rehearsing,” Porter said. “I say we like I helped, but it was mostly Tyler and Luke’s job because, Corey and I, while fully capable of moving things, are very weak, and so we tried to move it once and it was more or less just a half hour of [director] Laura Whalen ridiculing us while we attempted to get a couch into the choir office.”

Another unique aspect of the show was that senior Josh LaSota composed all of the music for it. It was his first time composing for the school, though he has been doing so for a long time.

“I’ve been composing probably since I was in junior high school, but this is the first time the school has ever asked me to do something for them,” LaSota said. “I think it was just my passion for music so to say, is that I’ve always been into it, and I’ve always listened to music. I just had a niche to create my own stuff, I just wanted to do my own thing, and I wanted to put my work out there and to get feedback and see how people liked it.”

Many of LaSota’s biggest musical influences are indie and rock bands. One of these influences in particular, Mac DeMarco, whose music he described as “70s and 80s style,” made its way into the composition for the spring play.

“Those kind of guitar sounds made their way into my play stuff,” he said. “A lot of the play stuff was acoustic, so I didn’t really have the ability, but in terms of the way the riffs sounded, I pulled from my influences a lot.”

He explained that when he wrote for play it was more difficult to compose.

“Mr. Whalen gave me the script of the play and like he said to look through it and look for any references to music, and to check the tone of the script. He basically just told me to make something that fit with what the script was, and what he wanted me to do. It was just a matter of following a guideline of what the tone of the play was, and that is what I had to work off of.

“It is harder, because when you’re just doing stuff on your own, it’s a lot easier because you have no guidelines, you can do whatever you want. You can make something happy, you can make it something sad, you can make it something exciting, but if you have to fit a script, then yeah it’s a lot more difficult because you have these boundaries and you can’t do whatever you want.”

Overall, Months on End was a success, despite the challenges everyone faced.

“I’m very happy [with the way it turned out],” LaSota said. “I’ve gotten good feedback from my friends, my family, the Whalens, and people who are part of the production.”

“I was really glad I could work with the show,” Porter said. “I think it was a different experience than what you get with most plays.”