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Flying Horse

Matthew Surprenant, Arts and Life Editor

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These days, Pingree has three trimesters worth of theatre for those who are interested in performative arts. There’s the fall play, the winter musical, and a relative-newcomer: the student-run Flying Horse production. Whereas the first two are your typical theatre experiences, albeit with that distinctive Pingree feel, Flying Horse offers an even more unique experience that is scarcely found in a high school setting. Student-led, with student-acted, and performing student-written plays, it really is a program that stands out from the crowd. Now in its third year of being an official Pingree activity, it shows no signs of slowing down.

The cast and crew of Flying Horse, a small group, have been working hard ever since the start of third trimester. If you’ve ever been around the theatre after school, you probably have heard them hard at work at the production and wondered, “just what is it they’re doing down there?” Well, I sat down with the members of Flying Horse after school to see what the production was all about.

I first asked about the play, A Queer Misunderstanding, specifically just how they would explain the “gist” of the plot to someone who wants to see it. Demi Wack ‘20 answered by saying, “The whole play is based around dramatic irony.” Lydia McGinn ‘18 chimed in with “The premise of the play is that it’s a miscommunication between friends and the comedy of error that follows, like Cinderella.” Dramatic irony, for those who haven’t taken Sophomore English yet, is when the audience knows something that the characters of the plot do not.

Knowing that many of the older members of Flying Horse have worked in Pingree’s theatre program beforehand, I wondered what the difference is between a typical play at Pingree and the running and creation of a play as students. Esdras Javier ‘18 said the following, “I guess there’s a lot of differences. We become more of a family a lot quicker. Just because there’s so few of us. Just because it’s student led, we have so much freedom. Occasionally faculty help us.” Wack explained that “It’s a shorter play, it’s less deadlines, we work out our characters, and we work out our relationships between characters and actors just because it’s such a smaller group.” Javier then mentioned again how all productions were student written, a fact that each member of Flying Horse thought was “pretty cool.”

I had become quite interested at this point. But I still wanted to know more, specifically about the culture of Flying Horse. Iain McMaster ‘21 chimed in, saying that “compared to other plays, there’s definitely a lot more social opportunities. With such a small group there’s less time for forming relationships between people.” Wack followed up with, “personally, having done this twice now, it’s interesting to see the differences between other types of theatre, and this. It’s a lot less time to interact with people because you’re so broken up and there is so many deadlines. But this year Esdras has done so much work to make sure to break down the barriers, discourage competition between actors for roles, and let people get to know people better.”

Lastly, I asked the group if they had any message they wanted to give to the Pingree community. Wack said that, “I think people should try Flying Horse because in the past, it’s new, student led, not advertised as much, but it’s still a lot of fun and it’s really starting to become its own thing and become its own activity and people can have a lot of fun with it.” McGinn added, “If you’ve done theatre before and want to do it some more it’s great, or if you want join in because it’s easier to start since its student led. Isabella Ferrazza ‘20, gave a more technical perspective on the process, mentioning, “if you don’t want to act, being a part of tech is great, we get to be able to form the image on stage.” Ella Greenfield ‘21 added, “And it’s not like before, there’s not much separation between tech and acting.” The group finished the interview by exclaiming, “You should see a Queer Misunderstanding on May 18th, because it’s cute, quirky, and fun!

Indeed, I’d recommend anyone to come round and see the play on May 18th, which is also the last day of classes for Seniors. What better to end a year, or even a Pingree career with a good show. I know I sure will.  

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Flying Horse