Everyone is Curious about Drama’s “The Curious Savage”

Staff Writers: Claudia Miklosik and Sydney Torres

Woodstock’s drama department recently produced their version of the play “The Curious Savage”. The play made its debut to the public on Thursday, October 15 and ran nightly through Saturday.

The scene was set in a 1950’s era mental institution. The set was masterfully set up, even equipped with metal bars over the windows “to keep the world outside”, as quoted by one of the main characters Fairy, played by junior Brittani Hill. The show told the tale of a woman, Mrs. Savage, sent to the institution by her spoiled children after their father died. The goal? To obtain the millions of dollars in bonds he left behind. The play revolves around Mrs. Savage’s stay here, and keeping the money from getting into the wrong (greedy) hands.

The play teetered the line of comedy and seriousness, especially with its depiction of Mrs. Savage’s new friends at the institution. The drama department was careful to not poke fun at people with mental illnesses, but at the same time, showed that people are people – no matter the environment. The five residents at the institution were accurate depictions of the different personalities one would see anywhere. There was Fairy, an adult who spoke in an adolescent tone, who personified the innocence and naivety of youth. Hannibal, a John Nash like statistician who embodied the calculating and nervous type. Another favorite was Florence, a resident who seemed sane until she presented her “five year old son”: a giant rag doll. All of the actors and actresses were so impeccably in-character that we almost forgot we were watching a play not reality. It was interesting to see how loyal and friendly the residents were to Mrs. Savage – way more than her own bratty children.

From being on the edge of your seat, to busting out laughing, the audience had plenty of opportunities for both while watching the play. One action-filled scene had residents searching wildly and tearing the set up trying to find the bonds. Another had senior Christian McElroy, playing the role of Mrs. Savage’s son, yelling at nearing 100 decibels trying to find the bonds’ location. In a fit of rage McElroy slammed the door on set so hard that the stopper broke. For the rest of the play, the door would sway back and forth without any intent to stay shut. Luckily, this happened on Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal. Senior Benji Tompkins recalls the incident vividly. “Now, we say: ‘Break legs not doors.’ It’s kind of a small inside joke now.” According to Tompkins, this mishap did not make a reappearance in later shows.

While The Curious Savage is no longer in production, the drama department already has a new play they are planning. Sweeney Todd auditions begin in a few weeks, and the play is expected to premier sometime in April. Make sure to come out! Whether the play makes you laugh or cry, you will definitely be entertained by some talented Wolverines.

Above: Christian McElroy played the role of Mrs. Savage’s greedy son. He is deep in thought in this picture, possibly thinking about what to do with the broken door.

Above: Christian McElroy played the role of Mrs. Savage’s greedy son. He is deep in thought in this picture, possibly thinking about what to do with the broken door.

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