On January 28th, the Douglas Freeman Theatre department opened their One Act performance of “The Tragedy of Tragedies; The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great,” to be seen by the Freeman community before their competition on the 29th.
The play was written by Henry Fielding and is a satire piece mocking traditional fantasy tropes that were popular at the time. The play was first performed in the year 1731 and it still holds up today.
The Theatre Guilds cast was a blend of talent and comic. Many recognizable faces took the stage of the auditorium on Tuesday night. Tom Thumb (portrayed by Ben Edlavich) is a legend in King Arthur’s court for killing giants across the land. As his reward for his service, King Arthur (Tristen Lowery) promises his daughter’s hand in marriage. This excites Princess Huncamunca (Caroline Ferguson), but the presence of Lord Grizzle (Henry Donovan) complicates things when he claims the princess as his own. Naturally, conflict ensues and the whole cast ends up dead by the end. “There are so many love triangles it is hard to keep up with them all,” said cast member Zoe Mowrey.
Kenzie had to do the whole performance on stilts to fill her role as the Giantess, “I mean it was challenging at first, but after a little while I was able to add the physical movements that the stilts created to the characterization of the giant. My legs still got super tired after a run through though,” Kenzie said.
The cast was on a relatively empty stage with just a few props. Transitions between scenes were extremely fun to watch as Matt Boyle and Nick Erikson shuffled on stage to add or remove props all while babbling the tune to a jig.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29th the cast left at 7:15 in the morning to perform in their competition at L.C. Bird. Their show placed second among seven other schools which qualifies them to move on and compete again on Monday, February 3rd at Matoaca High School.
At the L.C. Bird competition, two outstanding actor awards are presented to two actors out of all eight schools that compete. Both of these awards were given to Freeman performers. Henry Donovan as Lord Grizzle and Anna Williams as Queen Dollallolla were both recognized as outstanding actors on Wednesday. “It was such an honor to win this year, but I attribute it mostly to my scene partners and the strength of the cast as a whole. We put on a great show and I feel that we were rewarded for our efforts,” Henry said.
Overall it was an extremely enjoyable experience that really reminds the Freeman Family how talented our actors are.