Over the weekend, the Christendom Players performed P.G. Wodehouse’s comedic “Right Ho, Jeeves!”, delighting audiences with humor, absurdities, and wit. In addition to three in-person performances for students, faculty, and staff, the production was live-streamed, allowing thousands of family members, friends, and fans to enjoy the performance from the comfort of home.
“In a year that has left a lot of us tired of bad news and conflict, this show offered a kind of relief as it gave everyone who had a part in it a chance to laugh together,” shared co-director Annie Sullivan.
While the Christendom Players usually select a thematically poignant and thought-provoking fall production, this year the Players opted to perform a comedy, making it their goal to offer laughter and reprieve to audiences during a stressful time.
The show not only delighted viewers, but it was also an enriching opportunity for the students who participated. While Christendom does not have a formal theater department, the biannual productions garner remarkable student involvement, giving many students the chance to develop their acting abilities.
Lead actor Sean Walker, who played the role of Bertie Wooster, had never acted in a play before participating in this production. According to Walker, taking the stage for the first time was thrilling.
“Everything about the experience was amazing. The directors, cast and crew were a joy to work with, and were excellent teachers to a new actor such as myself,” shared Walker. “Not only were the performances a blast, but the practices were as well, despite the trying nature of the semester.”
According to director Liz Foeckler, approximately fifty students auditioned for the fall production. Even knowing that the show was going to have a limited live audience, many students were still interested in participating, a testament to the value of these productions on campus.
“From my perspective, it was clear that theater was something students were willing to make sacrifices for, despite challenges,” shared Foeckler. “I think that says a lot, not only about the love of and desire for theater, but also about the desire to have something positive to immerse themselves in.”
According to Foeckler, theatrical productions bring out the best of Christendom, uniting students across different majors, classes, and social circles.
“[This coming together] is an experience much like that of the Faith – it takes all kinds and personalities and brings them together in a common goal. Particularly this year, when the goal was to bring joy to others, that is an irreplaceable gift.”
Co-director Annie Sullivan could not agree more. Sullivan acted in the fall production every year while she was a student. Now as a graduate and member of the college’s Advancement office, she was thrilled to give back to the Christendom Players as a director. This was her first production working on the other side of the stage, an opportunity she much enjoyed.
“This cast and crew were very dynamic and just a joy to work with. They were optimistic and excited the whole way through,” Sullivan shared. “The actors had to give up a lot, knowing their family members would be unable to attend the show. But that didn’t stop them from putting everything they had into rehearsals and performances.”
The Christendom Players’ productions consistently impress audiences, a testament to the hard work, commitment, talent, and vision of the students and volunteers who make these productions a reality.
The live-stream of “Right Ho, Jeeves!” is still available on Christendom’s YouTube channel.