The following comes from The Gazette of Wednesday, March 30, 1966. There was a full page devoted to the production of “The King and I,” with numerous pictures, but the quality of the printing on this page was mediocre (a sample is below). Even my own comments were hard to read.
With the production of “The King and I” at MRSS, it was obvious that a dramatic occasion had turned into a dramatic event. The community had been waiting for a successor to “Pygmalion,” which started what soon may be a tradition. These expectations were realized with our school’s most recent production.
The production of the play was indeed a co-operative effort, encompassing the talents and facilities of the entire school, our first real test of “school spirit” for the combined buildings. Many members of the staff took time out during and after school, and students sacrificed many hours both on school nights and on weekends. As well, many school departments and clubs spent much time in various capacities to help insure the success of the play.
Overall, the production itself was very smooth running and of professional calibre. I will not endeavor to dwell on students’ individual performances, as another critic has already adequately done this.
However, I will venture to say that the success of “The King and I” was due to the varied structure of the play itself. Acting, singing, and dancing all found opportunity for expression -- students could give their part their own interpretation, which made the production more interesting.
The behaviour of the audiences was also greatly improved over last year’s -- there were no sporadic outbursts of movie cameras with light bars. Perhaps the increased professionalism of the play helped put the audience in a receptive mood similar to that found in a professional theatre.
But what of the future? News has it that plans are already being made for a similar project such as “The King and I.” If this tradition continues for several years, and I hope it will, we will be able to evaluate one day the cultural effect that these plays have had in providing a closer bond between the school and the community.
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