The Water Street Players have done it again! From mastering the operatic songs of Pirates of Penzance and acrobatic choreography of Chaplin! to capturing the renaissance spirit with Once Upon a Mattress and The Tempest, our Upper School theater troupe sets the bar higher with every performance. Last weekend's Sunday in the Park With George proved to be no exception. When the audience spied the strobe lights and fog warning upon entering Price Auditorium, we knew we were in for an avant-garde treat.
Searching for Meaning in Art and Life
Sunday in the Park With George is a well-known Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It tells the story of a fictionalized version of the painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” It's an exploration of the artist’s obsession with creating meaningful, innovative art paralleled with a struggle to maintain personal relationships and love. The play travels through the neo-impressionist era of 1880s Paris to the postmodern era of 1980s New York, opening the door for an imaginative performance, transformative musical score, and iconic costuming and set design. Our players embraced the challenging and entrancing play with elegant style and the confidence of a troupe that has spent years on the stage.
We laughed, we cried, we just couldn’t get enough of this dazzling performance. The audience felt every emotion of these captivating and complicated characters and delighted in the creative use of sound, light and color to transport us through the decades and into the heart of humanity.
Scroll through the photos below for a peek at opening night!
From the Director
The Water Street Players encourage the dynamic growth and deepened involvement of emerging, young artists. With a renaissance spirit and through quality programming, we strive to entertain, engage and challenge audiences through the art of theatre.
“Why this show? What can high schoolers relate to in a story about competing art movements in the 1880s and the austere and insular art world of the 1980s, all told in a pointillist style where visual snapshots and bits of dialogue combine on stage to create a larger picture and tell a larger story? On the surface, it seems like they can’t. But when you dig a little deeper into what the show is about — making sacrifices for what you love and understanding that consequences come from your choices — it’s pretty much the most important thing you can learn when becoming an adult. It’s also about where you find inspiration, which can be a harsh and unforgiving desert for our students in these times of vapid YouTube influencers and Twitter wars. The entire musical asks you, the audience, to look at the bigger picture, as well as the beauty in the interactions with the people we observe every day and take for granted and the need for connection between people and across generations, which couldn’t be more relevant. Ultimately, the show is about the beauty in the commonality of the everyday, and how sometimes, it takes a visionary to force us to see it.” — Upper School Drama Teacher and Director Ron Giddings ‘99