As the cast and crew took their final bow, deafening cheers and applause cut through the reverent silence that had saturated Douglas’s auditorium for the last two hours, save for the bouts of laughter and sobbing. Douglas Drama’s latest production certainly made Saturday night an evening to remember as students performed Arthur Giron’s Becoming Memories for the last time.
Performed on Saturday and Friday night, Becoming Memories features the touching stories of five separate Midwestern families, whose lives intertwine over a series of generations. The cast included seniors Brendan Duff, Bridget Foley, Bradley Thorton, Kelsey Healey, and Carl Virtue, as well as juniors Avery Cooper, Tatiana Tardalo, Dylan Baierlein, and Kayla Le. The audience never took their eyes off the stage as the cast beautifully acted out the ups and downs of life and family, daring to cover issues such as love, abuse, and death. From the audience to the cast and crew, these stories touched everyone.
“We haven’t done a piece as touching and complex as this in a while, and the overall experience was amazing,” Foley said. “As young actors, we rarely ever get to encounter material as heavy as this piece.”
Foley played Margaret, a woman who marries her brother-in-law after her sister’s death. Foley’s character delves into the complexity of love and death, as Margaret’s husband, played by Thorton, maintains his love for his deceased wife while falling in and out of love with Margaret.
“The story my character, Jack, had to tell was really hard hitting and real,” Thorton said. “It’s tough to portray sadness, crying, and abuse and still make it feel real.”
The cast certainly succeeded in making the play feel real. Even as the multiple story lines weaved in and out, which might have confused spectators to oblivion if not for the clear changes in lighting and setting, the crowd laughed and cried in all the right places.
Sophie, played by Tardalo, elicited more than a few tears, as she struggled in her marriage to a cheating musician, wonderfully portrayed by Baierlein.
The very real connections the audience watched onstage largely derived from the close-knit familial relationship the cast managed to cultivate offstage.
“Luckily, with the support of my cast mates, Mrs. Herzfeld, and my incredible stage partner Bradley Thorton, this show was an enjoyable learning experience,” Foley said. “This was my first time playing a completely serious character. Margaret is probably my favorite character I’ve played so far because of that; it was nice to switch things up.”
As voiced by Foley, Becoming Memories is a far cry from the comedies and light-hearted musicals Douglas traditionally sees in its auditorium, but in its divergence, the play will undoubtedly remain ingrained in Douglas’s history and the hearts of audience members for generations to come.