The Virtual Fall Play Is Out of this World! 


(Photo by Kaileigh Cagnassola)

Warren Hills sophomore Ryan Cagnassola and his cat watch the Drama Club’s fall play, Do You Read Me?, from the comfort of their home.

Kaileigh Cagnassola & Carlee Fisco, Staff Reporters

Grab a drink, some snacks, and a comfortable seat, because the Warren Hills cast and crew has officially released the virtual fall play Do You Read Me?, written by Katheryn Funkhouser. 

A comedic virtual play, Do You Read Me? follows several NASA scientists as they attempt to grow the first-ever eggplant on Mars through the colonists who have been sent to the newly inhabited planet. The colonists, however, must complete the task and have other plans that are far from following the scientists’ directions. 

The audience can follow video calls from NASA to the Mars colonists as everything seems to be going wrong with the eggplant. From magical vitamins to the song “Baby Shark” to a very tall cup tower, this virtual play is full of hilarious moments that will leave the audience on the edge of its seat — or couch, since the play was released virtually Nov. 28 to the Warren Hills community. 

The play can be accessed through the high school’s web site by clicking on “Athletics & Activities,” then “High School Clubs” and “Drama Club.”

One thing to note about this year’s play is that it is entirely double-casted, meaning that there will be two versions of the same show, with Cast A and Cast B.

I was concerned that there could possibly be a lot of absences and I wanted to have a backup for any scenario that could happen this fall, and I wanted to be able to involve more students this time, especially underclassmen,” said Director Nicole Labrit-Petrewski. 

This decision led to a diverse cast full of both upperclassmen and lowerclassmen with a wide range of experience levels. 

The virtual production is also the first show for many of the underclassmen, such as freshmen Roisin McCluskey and Tyrik Washington.

“Getting a part as an underclassman was mind-blowing in a way. I almost didn’t expect to get such a good part during my first production,” said McCluskey, when asked about what it was like to be cast in her first Warren Hills drama production. McCluskey plays the character Robin in Cast A of the production. 

Washington, who also made his Warren Hills drama debut in this show, plays the character Charlie in Cast A and Assistant Smith in Cast B. While both of the roles are respectable, Washington does have a favorite. 

“I would have to say Assistant Smith. He reminds me of myself because I am very sarcastic, and he deals with Karen and Robin, and they are going through emotional things and they are sarcastic while doing it,” Washington said. 

Do You Read Me? is also assistant-directed by senior Emily Gilligan, a four-year drama member. Gilligan plays the role of Doctor Weaver in both casts. Through her character, Gilligan is able to bring infectious energy and enthusiasm to the play.

“Of course, since I had never worked with LP [Labrit-Petrewski] assistant-directing, there were things I had to learn, but between knowing LP’s directing style and having prior experience directing, it was overall a great experience,” Gilligan said.

There are always possible problems that can arise whenever utilizing technology, especially when filming, but the cast and crew navigated through them well. The delays were present, but it fit very well into the structure and plot of the play and didn’t take away from the acting too much. 

Even with all of the struggles the cast and crew had to face with being virtual, all of the actors and actresses could not be more excited to be performing again. 

“It has been fun and interesting to figure out how to adapt our performance to the screen. The biggest thing I miss about the in-person performances is the rush of adrenaline before going on stage to perform to an entire audience,” said senior Ellie Higgins, who plays Charlie in Cast A and Jess in Cast B. 

The whole cast hopes the Warren HIlls community enjoys the show, even if it is in an adapted way. The play has given audiences an opportunity to watch the cast of Do You Read Me? for more than just three nights. 

“Come see the show! It’s out of this world,” said Higgins.