Sarah Engels '18 | Stage Manager
Hello friends, family, students or anyone else who has happened upon this post!
My name is Sarah Engels and I have had the honor of stage managing for our production Flowers For Algernon. This show has been a very large responsibility of mine, but I would not change that for anything. I have had the pleasure of working with the fantastic directorial team of Ms. Maureen Milbach and Ms. Jennifer Boots. Throughout the process, I’ve enjoyed seeing the cast grow and create a phenomenal production. This show takes place November 9th, 10th, and 11th at 7:00 pm and a matinee on the 11th at 1:00 pm. I hope to see you there.
The cast and crew have worked hard to bring this play to life. It is based off of the short story and novel written by Daniel Keyes in the early 1960s. Although the story was written and takes place in this period, the themes still ring true today. The show primarily focuses on the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities. Although society has improved its treatment of these people, we still have a long way to go until we reach equality. Throughout the play, we see the negative impacts treatment has on Charlie. For this situation, treatment is a complicated word. It not only refers to medical treatment, but social treatment as well. It is medical treatment that provides the source of conflict in the show (as his intellectual enhancement and decay are the main point), but it is the social treatment that truly impacts Charlie the most. Prior to his medical treatment, most people treat Charlie with little respect and patronize him. He is seen as different and an outcast from “normal society.” Although not every person Charlie comes across treats him this way,his status as an outcast affects him most. As Charlie’s intelligence grows, he begins to realize the disparity in respect given to him as compared to others without disabilities. He also has a deep rooted fixation with loneliness, due to the harsh treatment from, and abandonment of his family.
The show also investigates the conflict of emotion vs. intellect. This is essential as we see Charlie grow intellectually while retaining a younger emotional age. His conflict of love and learning is evident as he grows to love his teacher, but knows rationally that he needs to focus on his learning while he still has the chance. Love and loss is evident throughout the show, while the uncertainty of the future is looming in the background.
The cast rose to the challenge of taking on the responsibility of conveying sensitive content in this show while still being true to the playwright and the time period. They have done an incredible job delving into the meaning of the show, while still focusing on their roles. To show such an intense transformation of a man is very difficult, but they have successfully taken on the challenge. I am so incredibly thankful for their hard work and dedication to this show, and am so proud of what it is becoming.
I am so happy to have had the opportunity to stage manage this show. It has been incredible to see the inner workings of our theatre department and to be apart of creating this beautiful production. Even through the stress of crazy scene changes to finding obscure props such as a rabbit’s foot and rorschach cards, it has all been completely worth it. Thank you to everyone involved with this production, you are what makes it worth it. I cannot wait to see the final product.
For each production, the Stage Manager of the show will publish a column here.