The play, which will be performed April 25 to 28 at Dr. Phillips High School, takes place in 1930s Germany and 1980s America.
Dr. Phillips High School theater students will be transporting audiences to 1930s Germany and 1980s America with their upcoming production, “A Bright Room Called Day.”
The production, which will be performed Thursday, April 25, to Sunday, April 28, at the Dr. Phillips High School Studio Theatre, tells two parallel stories as it follows the lives of two women during a time of political upheaval in their respective countries.
The two lead characters will be performed by juniors Natalie Carvalho, who will play Agnes Eggling, and Roma Zizza, who will play Zillah Katz during the two-hour play.
“The story is based around Agnes in her apartment and her friends, but we do also see other characters come in who kind of represent the future and the past of what Agnes is going through,” Carvalho said. “So the present is Agnes’s apartment and her life right now, and it’s all taking place in the 1930s, when Hitler is rising to power in Berlin, Germany. And so, we see how these characters from different ways of life and different countries deal with Hitler’s reign in their personal and social life. And then we see Zillah in 1980s America during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.”
Zizza said the play’s heavy history required both her and Carvalho to take a few history lessons before learning the lines to gain more context of the play’s setting.
“The show basically parallels what happened in Berlin before the unfortunate events of the Nazis taking over and the Holocaust,” Zizza said. “And so, it sort of compares it to Ronald Reagan’s administration in America in the 1980s, and how that was just kind of the start of a new era in America. It’s very interesting.”
Both Carvalho and Zizza believe the play is unique because of how the stage is arranged and set is designed. The set uses several antiques for decoration, including a fan from the 1930s, they said.
“It’s an experience that you’re not going to get anywhere else,” Carvalho said. “The way that we designed the set is intended to be very immersive. We have audience members on all four sides, so you feel like you’re almost invading these characters’ privacy. So it’s a pretty intimate experience, and I feel like it’s something that people need to see, because politics becomes such a heavy topic that many don’t really want to talk about, and this play puts that into perspective. It shows how people are affected by the political changes that happen in government.”
Zizza added the play was chosen by their director because of its relevance to today’s political climate.
“Our director, Sarah Clark, told us that there are certain things that need to be said and whatever your political views may be, whether you’re more conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, you can sit here and just watch something for what it is and understand it — whether you believe in it or not,” Zizza said. “So I think she picked it to mirror what’s happening in politics in America and across the globe now. This will definitely make people think.”