Ottoson Plays Leave Spectators Crying, Laughing

Sophie R.M & Papatya D.

Both of the Ottoson short plays performed on November 4th were full of real-life scenarios and were very emotional. They captured family issues, love drama and friendship struggles while keeping the audience engaged and even causing some laughter in the process. “Perfect”, which was presented first, was about a little girl named Bethany played by Giulia J. She did a magnificent job portraying the little girl’s character and personality which took us through a range of emotions. “Our Place”, was the second play and we watched 5 different stories take place in a small dock near a river. Both plays were full of emotional impact and were wonderfully produced by Jenna M. and Randi F. The show presented first was “Perfect” and really was perfect!

“Perfect”, the first performance explored unreachable standards in today’s society through the perspective of a young girl, Bethany. She had been living her whole life thinking she was perfect, and anything but perfect was abominable. Bethany’s parents raised her by convincing her that everything she did was perfect. When she started school, she ran into a very common occurrence where she felt the need to fit in. Since Bethany wasn’t aware of the expectation the other girls had set for her, they were mean to her. When she started coming home and asking for new things to help her fit in, her parents started feeling some tension between them. Many disagreements about what they should provide for her and the way she should be raised occurred often and due to all the arguments, they eventually got divorced. Bethany blamed this on herself, like many children of divorcees do. On stage, Bethany stared at a “mirror,” talking to herself about how she felt as if she were a failure. On top of that, Bethany found out that her father had been seeing someone else. The realization that her parents would never get back together devastated her. However in the end, Bethany went to therapy and learned to accept herself after being overwhelmed. She remembers how much her mom loved her and finished off by saying, “You’re me, you look just like me, and you know what else, you’re perfect!”

Our Place”, was a perfect ending to the night where we saw realistic family arguments, teens and seniors struggling with mental illness, and so much more. The play was impactful and touched home to many of the audience members’ hearts. The first scene was called “Our Place” about a love story in which the relationships changed rapidly. It showed real-life relationship situations and standards with the setting being, “Our Place.” The second scene was “Flick of the Wrist”. This scene gave some audience members a conflict to connect to. A father and daughter go to a lake to fish. However, the dad never spoke and barely moved. We assume he had memory loss and he didn’t even recognize his own daughter. The daughter tried so hard, with photos and memories but was unable to get her dad back. The third scene was “Famtime.” Famtime was a very funny scene where an over-eager dad takes his family on a thrilling canoe ride. The plot is extremely realistic, it projects a common issue: The dad is very enthusiastic, while the mom isn’t too into it. However, she tries to get the children to be involved. One of the kids was definitely a “screenager.” While the other was very sweet. Fortunately for the older sibling, the boat ride was a failure and didn’t end up happening after the dad hit his head on the canoe. After hitting his head, he thought they had already been on the canoe ride and they all got to go home. The fourth scene was “Tuna Fish.” In this act there is a sweet couple who are on a picnic by the lake. This event becomes repetitive and the girl starts exploring the idea of new things and wanting to try different foods. Since this wasn’t the first time they went to the lake and had tuna fish sandwiches. Hence the name of the scene “Tuna Fish”. Her significant other thinks that this isn’t a good idea and she should be grateful for the things she already has and gets to experience. They ended up parting ways.  The last scene, “Stay With You” was also a tear-jerking scene where one sibling had run away from home because they appeared to be struggling with some sort of mental health issues and family conflict at home. At home their parents were having lots of arguments which stressed out the sibling. Their little sibling, a young girl, wanted more than anything for her sibling to come back home. She kept on begging, but her sibling wouldn’t budge instead they started to scream at her and told her to go home. She was very stubborn and told her sibling she would wait forever until they agreed to come home. While waiting for her sibling to come home with her, she was playing on the dock and what her sibling didn’t know was that when she was trying to balance on the dock she fell off and drowned. She also didn’t know how to swim which was why she drowned. This part definitely caused lots of the audience to fill their eyes up with tears. A theme that was hidden in these acts was that you should spend the time you have with the ones you love wisely.

Overall, after watching these two short plays we can be reassured that Ottoson Middle School is full of talent. “Perfect” taught us to be ourselves and not worry about unreachable standards that are impossible to reach. The five “Our Place” scenes were intertwined in the sense that they taught us to spend more time with loved ones and appreciate what we have. Make sure you don’t miss the next Ottoson Drama performance which will be “Guys and Dolls” performed later on in the school year!