A New Type of Play


Kristof Acs, Features Editor

October 17 marks the opening night of the theater program’s newest production, Bonnie and Clyde. This Pop-Rock, bloodshed filled romance revolves around the tragic story of real life gangster couple, Bonnie and Clyde, who wreaked havoc on the American midwest during the Great Depression.

The themes represented in this production contrast Director David Mann’s choices in previous years, such as Rent, Cabaret, and Pippin, all traditionally contemporary plays. Mann selects his productions with respect to the students he is teaching. In past years, Mann taught students who were trained in contemporary theater, and so chose plays that specifically reflect and exhibit the talents of his students. For 2018, however, Mann’s selection of Bonnie and Clyde shows his understanding of his students and how to showcase the talent of his students.

“The play suits the voices of a number of the students,” Mann said.

Also, in contrast to previous productions showcased by the theater program, such as A Game’s Afoot, which portrays a murder mystery enclosed within a single setting for the entirety of the play, Bonnie and Clyde has numerous settings filled with short scenes. This means that more work must be done to allow the transitions between scenes to flow smoothly, as well as increased work to build and set up the different settings. However, with 90 minute rehearsals 5 to 6 times a week, Mann and his students are confident that everything will be completed and perfected for the grand opening on October 17.

The overall tone and themes represented in the play also differ fundamentally from the previous contemporary productions, as Bonnie and Clyde draws on more modern, “poppy” influences, including the music, costumes, and overall storyline. Senior Tyler Hostler-Mathis, who will be portraying Clyde as co-star of the production, believes that even though the play’s storyline could be considered borderline macabre, dealing with the true story of famous Depression-era outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, the way in which the play is presented and the tones given off by the actors contrast the upsetting story with lighthearted and romantic scenes. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s the most pop-rock play we’ve done in a while, it’s all super fun with high energy, and the whole audience is going to love it,” Hostler-Mathis said.

With just under a month until the first show, Mann and his students are excited to display their hard work and talent in a fresh, new play that Tampa Prep has never seen before.


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