AJ Wolken staff writer
Rinesa Kabashi staff writer
Being a member of theater, Madrigals and Dance Company, senior Solomon Margo is very involved in the performing arts. After acting in countless plays and musicals since elementary school, Margo has decided to branch into directing.
On Jan. 26, Margo debuted his version of Lila Rose Kaplan’s play “100 Planes.” The story focuses on Lieutenant Kay McClure, a hotshot pilot, who is taken under the wing of her hero Major Anne Clarkson. As Anne tests Kay’s limits, Anne’s motives come into question. Dani, an aspiring reporter and Kay’s lover, probes deeper to discover the truth behind Anne’s intense demands. “100 Planes” examines the tug of war between love and ambition for female pilots in the air force.
“This play could not be more timely as we follow the women’s movement as it makes waves among our celebrities and pulses through our Congress,” Margo said.
Directing has helped Margo not only expand his resume, but also learn more about theater and improve his own acting.
“Directing is immensely helping me with my acting. I am learning what actors respond to best, and what goes over their head,” Margo said. “I am learning that getting actors to understand the reasons behind their words and actions are more important than simply reciting their lines. I have learned how to be a better leader, taking into account everyone’s opinions and set.”
The original play consists of three female parts and one male part and runs 90 minutes. When directing this piece Margo cut out any scenes that were not vital to the plot in addition to changing the male role to a female. Junior Saman Peyman, who plays McClure in the play, thought that the all-female cast worked well together and didn’t lose any character in the production by switching the gender of a role.
“There weren’t really any advantages or disadvantages in the all female cast because everyone got along well,” Peyman said. “The character that was switched to female didn’t really change the moral of the play, and the actress who played Dani definitely portrayed the role in the image of the playwright, regardless of gender.”
The performance of 100 “Planes” on Friday was open to the public, but mainly served as the filming of the production’s audition tape for the California Thespian Festival. The competition takes place in March, and judges 30 minute plays acted and directed by students.
“California Thespian Festival is a giant theater gathering at the end of March. It is a three day trip which involves workshops, performances and competitions. It will be Beverly’s first appearance in a long time, and I’m talking decades,” Margo said.
Although the cast and crew won’t know if they are accepted into the festival until their audition tape is reviewed, Peyman is excited by the idea that they might be able to attend the competition.
“We don’t know if we’ll be able to perform until we’re accepted, but it’d be really amazing if we do get to perform at Cali-Thespian,” Peyman said. “Solomon is a very talented person, in acting and directing, and it was great working with him.”