The Performing Arts Magnet at North Springs Charter High School has tackled a challenging show this fall as our country heads into election season. As Spanish philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So, join the thespians at North Springs as we step back for a look at the French Revolution in their production of “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade” or “Marat/Sade” as it is more commonly known.
“Marat/Sade” is largely a play within a play, set a few years after the French Revolution and opens with the Marquis de Sade undertaking some final preparations for the show he has written about the French Revolution for the inmates in the asylum to perform for a few members of the French aristocracy.
The Marquis de Sade engages in philosophical discussions with Marat, but overall remains detached from the action, caring little for the inmates’ talk of rights and justice. The inmates often deviate from their prescribed script, revealing the continued class struggle and human suffering that exists despite the revolution that promised change.
Tommy Lennon is cool and calculated as the Marquis de Sade. He takes command of the stage with a regal, confident stage presence. Equally compelling is Jordan Rich as Jean-Paul Marat, covered in sores and obviously suffering from ill health. Rich displays considerable skill in portraying the depth of Marat’s pain and passion.
Mackenzie Baughman is Marat’s nurse, Simmone, who patiently and compassionately cares for him. Sydney Fuller portrays the murderous Charlotte Corday, the narcoleptic inmate who must continually be roused to play her part. Max Abelman plays the aristocratic and difficult to control inmate Monsieur Dupperet. Emma Clinch is quite moving as the passionate Roux.
Leenie Baker (Cucurucu), Cameron Frostbaum (Kokol), Olivia Medley (Polpoch), and Christine Cummins (Rossignol) are the four clowns who sing, dance and help to advance the action. Carly Zucker is terrific as the Herald who narrates much of the show.
The other inmates are played by Evelyn Iacobucci, Alex Toor, Kaitlin Reynell, Lilly Schreiner, William Harrison, and Miranda Flack. The nuns are Nala Hill, Audrey Stadler, and Caroline Steed and the orderlies are Henry Ballard and Josh Teal. All of these actors are to be commended for their eerie performance of the severely insane and their caretakers. They are all almost always visible to the audience, and perfectly characterized the hopelessness of their existence.
Marcellus McQueen tackled the unsympathetic role of Coulmier, the bourgeois director of the asylum. Lindsey Marcus plays Coulmier’s wife and Margaret Turner plays his daughter. Musicians included Robert Matson, Evelyn Iacobucci, Danny Marmer, and Caroline Steed.
Director Marty Aikens challenged his students with this thought-provoking drama, and they have risen to the occasion to provide an outstanding ensemble production of an emotionally draining show. This production is not to be missed.
“Marat/Sade” continues with performances on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and senior adults and $15 for adults. Due to content, this production is not recommended for young children. Tickets are available at the school’s website northspringshigh.com or via email to email@example.com.
North Springs Charter High School is located at 7447 Roswell Road.